Others said that today's public library must be a destination, a gathering place, a source of community pride. To appeal to today's library customer the public library must provide an "experience," add value to service, merchandise the collection and provide flexible spaces for events, study and the use of technology. Let's be sure to add the provision of quiet adult spaces.
Futurist Thomas Frey spoke as part of the Pioneer Library System's Staff Day in 2007. He predicts that libraries that thrive in the future will embrace new information technologies; preserve the memories of their communities; experiment with creative spaces like office space for entrepreneurs, recording studios, and more; and continually survey and respond to customer and community needs. He even suggests that we should be open 24 hours a day and, in fact, our virtual library is: www.justsoyouknow.us.
Certainly, today's public library delivery looks different, although books are still the "library brand." Pioneer's mission is "to connect you to the joy of reading and information for lifelong learning." In context with the history of the public library and its exciting future, is that an appropriate expression of the public library's role? We want to know. Please join this conversation.
Anne Masters is director of the Pioneer Library System.