Is It Time to Rebuild & Retool Public Libraries and Make “TechShops”?

To me, public libraries — the availability of free education for all — represent the collective commitment of a community to their future. They symbolize what is most important, a commitment to educating the next generation. The role of a public library should also adapt over time, and that time is finally here. It’s time to plan how we’re going to build the future and what place public libraries have, should have, or won’t have.

Full article by Phillip Torrone at

Is It Time to Rebuild & Retool Public Libraries and Make “TechShops”?

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Yes, the purpose of libraries needs to be rethought now

Phillip Torrone's piece is very thoughtful and timely and will spark the kinds of conversations our communities need to be having this year -- not next year, not five years from now.

One of the most interesting earlier writings I've seen on the purpose of public libraries is the November, 2002 piece by Eleanor Jo Rodger that appeared in American Libraries magazine.

R. David Lankes is one of the most bold current thinkers about the purpose of public libraries. His new book is The Atlas of New Librarianship, published by MIT Press.

The semantic web ought to be writing this blog post comment, not me. I'm supposed to just write the first sentence above.

A few of my own writings about public libraries appear at these locations:

Community Content in Public Libraries

Should Public Libraries be Welcoming Homes to Ingenuity?

Exit Newsweek, Enter MAKE Magazine

Public Libraries as Business Incubators

Public Libraries Nourishing the Mind

It's Time for Public Libraries to Get Creative

Towards a National Transition Plan for Public Libraries

Specialty Public Libraries Offer More

Should the Gates Foundation Support Linux and Apple Computers in Public Libraries?

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