What Is Your Vision of the Library of the Future? Scenario A

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Scenario A is one of the scenarios discussed at the focus groups for the library’s planning process. This scenario is very technology-centered, and is intended to help begin discussion about what participants want for the future of the library. Here are comments from the focus groups held at North County Regional Library (7/16/08, in Huntersville) and at Freedom Regional Library (7/19/08, in Charlotte) about this scenario:

  • Words used to describe scenario were “electricity,” “colorful,” “cool,” and “fast and accurate.”
  • Scenario was also described as very modern and dynamic, active, and life giving.
  • Libraries are one of the few public resources with free internet. People come to the library to try out new technology.
  • In order to have this type of environment, staff would have to be nice, not mean.
  • Technology is not cheap and will not become cheap. The “worldwide middle class” will want access to new technology. Market won’t allow price drop and people may not be able to perform high tech services at home, will have to come to library.
  • People would be more likely to come to the library if they are able to come out and try a new technology.
  • Will people think it is not worth it to fund technology in the library? Will need to change thought process, step up from a community aspect in order to convince people it is worth funding. Would need to work on explaining how the world is changing and people need to come out of their comfort zone and experience this new technology.
  • Would need to look at having these types of libraries in communities where people can walk to branch and use technology.
  • Missing books, it’s all about technology. Books are needed in the library.
  • Libraries must stay abreast of technology.
  • People are not learning verses the absorbing of materials when they use the computer to read. The library can enhance comprehension for students and adults.
  • There is a tension between technology and books. More things are technology based such as job applications. People have to learn technology skills in order to look up and apply for jobs.
  • Library has resources for anything and staff can guide them to this information. There is a lack of media exposure to community and the library should be out there. Never see anything on television about events; if possible, one may be able to read about it.
  • The library is on its way to the high tech scenario. Any solution that does not stay abreast of new technology will die. There should be access for the tech savvy and non-tech savvy visitors of the library.
  • Would need to look at having these types of libraries in communities where people can walk to branch and use technology.

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts about what seems likely or desirable in this scenario, what is unlikely or undesirable, and what is missing that you would like in the library of the future? Leave a comment to join in the conversation.

Also, check out Scenario B, which paints a very different possible future, and give us your feedback.

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