What should a library look like in 2013 – Answer: Open
Interesting article in the Guardian discussing what a library should offer especially with the threat of public sector funding cuts.
Having been involved in the launch of Cardiff Central Library, an award winning contemporary five storey building providing not just books but an ICT suite for training/hire, meeting rooms, 80 PCs for the public to use plus community events engaging with the public, this article resonates with me.
* There is an urgent need to improve library websites. They need to communicate and be inspiring – I know from first hand experience that many are not. Websites should be more interactive and participative to enable the public not just find a book but to share views on a novel, to research or to keep a list of quotes/views online…The library of today should offer a range of multi-platform services.
* A library is not just about books, it needs to embrace the digital age in an intelligent way. With new devices online we are being challenged on what the traditional book looks like. Libraries need a digital vision.
* A library is a community facility. It needs the community to use all its services to ensure that the library does not become part of the public sector cuts. We should be engaging with the community to sustain the library service, this is not being helped by the cutting of mobile services.
* Libraries play a role in signposting – showing the public where they can access/find something.