Magazine article American Libraries

What They Said

Magazine article American Libraries

What They Said

Article excerpt

"Libraries should, and have in many instances, extend that same treatment to new technology that is promising. Few will be as disruptive as the internet, but resources like Chicago's maker lab will bring in people who might have never had the chance to build something otherwise. Dozens of people build prototypes and products or even run their businesses out of TechShop, where they also meet other makers full of new ideas. Imagine if libraries offered similar opportunities."

SIGNE BREWSTER on how public libraries' embrace of computers and the Internet led to their widespread use by increasing access, in "Why Public Libraries Should Follow Chicago's Lead and Build Maker Labs," Giga0M, July 8.

"And the thing that is most boring about defending libraries is the imputation that an argument in defense of libraries is necessarily a social-liberal argument. It's only recently that I had any idea that how a person felt about libraries--not schools or hospitals, libraries--could even represent an ideological split. I thought a library was one of the few sites where the urge to conserve and the desire to improve--twin poles of our political mind--were easily and naturally united."

ZADIE SMITH in "The North West London Blues," New York Review of Books, June 2.

"What to do with an abandoned Walmart? ... Convert the whole thing into a library. The result has everything from study rooms to public meeting space to computer labs (including 16 specifically dedicated to kids and teens). And in case you're worried about kids reading amidst industrial shelving and linoleum, never fear. The store has had a total makeover and the ambiance is awesome. Unsurprisingly, library membership has increased 23% since the new space opened. I mean who wouldn't want to join? I kind of want to join and I live a thousand miles away. And as an added bonus, at 124,500 square feet, it's also the largest single-story public library in America. Well, I guess everything is bigger in Texas."

EMMA CUETO on the new main branch of the McAllen (Tex.) Public Library in a building that formerly housed a Walmart store, in "Town in Texas Turns an Abandoned Walmart into a Library," Bustle, Aug. 5.

"Our community public library cannot have as a mission to collect and preserve all of the non-Watertown historical materials that researchers may want to view. …

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