The future of libraries


I loved them as a child. There was something quite sublime about seeing so many stories and the visual of that much information. Every resource was totally accessible yet there was a hide and seek involved in finding what you wanted. Librarians were lovely, super smart and patient. Similar to churches, there was a quiet reverence to knowledge. I guess seeking out a book or piece of information is an earnest task after all.

I cherish libraries now because of their respect for silence. Going to a library, by virtue of its silence, is a act of solitude, however I can’t really remember the last time I went to one.

I worry about the future of libraries. Even though I rarely visit them, I selfishly still want the option of being able to. With the rise of e-books, self publishing and already having so much information readily available online, what’s to become of all those resources?

Are libraries irrelevant?

Months of momentary thoughts have lead me to play with a few ideas for the future of libraries.

One. Libraries will teach people how to do the one thing they do best – how to organise a collection of resources for referencing. I can see this being done on both a business and personal level. Let’s face it, we already have personal libraries in the form of pictures, music, emails, letters, cards and journals and although we’re being offered storage in the cloud, I think humans are tactile creatures and will want creative and clever ways to compile their memories as a form of legacy.

Two. Libraries will become the ultimate beautiful quiet space. I know plenty of people who like to sit somewhere public yet quiet in order to think and libraries will embrace this and make these spaces gorgeous, peaceful, green and inviting. There will be a focus on all the other senses – sight via interiors, indoor gardens and architecture, smell through calming aromatherapy, they’ll partner with brilliant chefs to make delicious bites of food. Who wouldn’t want to sit in a place like this?

Three. As a hat tip to its value of knowledge, libraries will become modern, interactive places of learning. They could borrow a thing or two from Dabble and locals could offer classes on something they know (be it wine or playing the ukulele) and they’ll leverage the trend of things being super local and become a complete community hub. They’ll ignore the world outside the boundaries of their vicinity and focus on building a sense of community and things to do for local families.

What do you think? Do you have any ideas?

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