Let’s hope that the new Library (more on the plans here) has some of the impacts that Jim Bacon details after his recent visit to two different library settings –
The (Shirlington) library also contributes to the vision of a community where things are happening 24/7. “We have a regular flow of traffic on the streets during the weekday but especially during early evening and the weekends,” says director Susan McCarthy. Many of the visitors arrive on foot. “Most of our traffic is through the front door,” not from the parking deck connected to the side door. “We have a lot of people who come over from the offices during the day, checking out a book for the weekend or using the wireless.”
Five years ago, libraries were struggling for identity. Who needed them when vast repositories of knowledge were available online, Amazon.com was delivering books to your doorstep, and Google was digitizing thousands of books for access over the Internet? By redefining themselves in an increasingly depersonalized society as community crossroads where real, live people come together and interact, they have emerged as relevant as ever.
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