The Hub: business model of the future for books and libraries?

I am a huge fan of the book store, the library and all things book-related. The library has narrowly edged out the bookstore as my favourite air-conditioned hang-out (I do not have air conditioning) because of the free wifi. But is that enough? Can the bookstores and libraries of this world stay viable and relevant in this age of e-downloads?

I think they can. But they need to expand their definition of business a little if they’re going to do so. One clue as to how this may evolve can be found in the way other businesses are updating themselves these days. And in my news feed these days, the big buzzword has been the ‘hub.’

Full blog entry at Teleread.org

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community? wha?

re: "Could you leverage the free wifi and comfortable hanging-out space into something that would truly be a community destination?"

the article mentions the schools and bookstores as HUBs. and then asks the library to be one of those. WE WOULD LOVE TO BE LIKE THOSE. but first, you need to change about 50 laws that allow EVERYONE INTO THE LIBRARY.

if you want a nice community space, but how can we do that when THE WORST of the community is found at the library? schools can keep people out and private businesses can, too. but it's so much harder to invite the community you suggest when it's nearly impossible to keep out the people who scare everyone else away.

oh, the library could become that oasis in the city if only we could keep everyone else out. in fact, one could argue that the library is that "third place" in the 3 the article mentions: 1, school for children to be educated; 2, bookstores for people who have money or large coats to shoplift items; 3, the library for everyone else.

so I guess we're already doing our part.

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