More and more people are seeing libraries as hubs for community. And there are many way of doing this — as key makerspaces like Fayetteville Free Library or Innovation Labs like Innisfil IdeaLab & Library, St. Petersburg Commuity College Innovation Lab, or DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library. Recently a retired teacher, colleague of my mother, sent me a note, “our local Midland library will let high school students have a private room for study during exams AND give them drinks and protein bars, etc. to keep them going. Our grade 10 granddaughter Maya and a small group of friends studied there each afternoon during exams. And by the way, you can sign out a fishing rod as well as all other regular library stuff. They’ve really made it a community hub.” Thanks Judy! Stories like this are now popping up in lots of places. For instance, this two part series about the South Shore Public Libraries in Nova Scotia. The first article, entitled Trust, Engagement & the Future of Libraries, refers to libraries as “the cornerstone of any community, a place to access endless resources for learning, a helping hand, a quiet place for self-reflection, access to amazing technology and social connections.” The CEO and Community Engagement Manager discuss engagement, trust and the vision for libraries. Here’s their strategic plan for 2027, In the second article, Storytelling – Community Driven News & History through Codex, they focus on storytelling, technology and how libraries can be the hub for community driven news and history.
So if you have a community engagement story to tell, regardless of the type library, please consider sharing your story as a speaker at Computers in Libraries 2019, March 26-28 in Washington DC. Our theme is User Engagement in the Digital Age.