The Importance of Libraries as Community Technical Hubs

The Importance of Libraries as Community Technical Hubs

Public libraries are democratic institutions that serve as an equalizer for individuals from all socio-economic levels, ages and needs. In addition to providing access to books, community events and librarian assistance, libraries offer community members a place to fulfill technological needs, from printing documents to online research and more. Learn how choosing a Master of Management in Library and Information Science degree benefits the future technical needs of the community served.

Self-Improvement Happens at Local Libraries

The library is an oasis in its neighborhood. In a recent NPR article, Tony Marx, New York Library president, compared a public library to:
“[A] safe oasis, where people could learn, improve themselves, and by extension, improve their communities. That grand tradition continues today.”

Marx added:
“[P]ublic libraries in this country have provided all members of the public with free access… coveted access, to knowledge, information and opportunity. Public libraries evened out the playing field for all.”

Public libraries are more important than ever before. They serve as a place, not only to borrow books, but also to receive:

  • Free access to Wi-Fi and computers
  • Classes on technology training to anyone
  • New ways to make reading more accessible, such as the use of Kindle Fire, which allows borrowers to request and read books from the convenience of any location.

Libraries continue to help neighborhoods learn and access the information they need today. Librarians serve as the bastion of the community, helping library members find or request information, take advantage of local services and events regularly posted, or use the technological services available to complete forms, send information and research a needed topic.

Library Services Adapt to Community Needs

Library services continue to evolve. A decade from now, the landscape of a public library may be quite different from what we see today. New experimental initiatives provide even greater access to technology. Do Space is a technology library that offers free access to PCs loaded with the type of software used by artists and businesses. Individuals there can use laser cutters and 3-D printers. Do Space is a vision of a library offering high-end technology completely free to their members.

Librarians have much to look forward to as the concept of libraries and the services offered adapts to changing needs. Rebecca Stavick, director of Do Space, shared with NPR:
“I’ve always thought of libraries as places full of tools. Books are tools, scrolls are tools, computers are tools. This vision of bringing technology to everyone in the community, it just gets people very excited.”

This example is inspiring other libraries to provide more technical services to patrons. Susan Benton, Urban Libraries Council member, said:
“To be sure, other public libraries are looking at this. The density of the technology, and the scope and the ability for the variety of programming to be going on at the same time, in one space, is unique.”

Become a Part of the Future of Your Community

Those that receive a Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Southern California have many career paths available to them. Students considering a career as a librarian can look forward to helping their neighbors continue their education and develop their business with the technologies currently available and to come at their local libraries.

Sources

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/05/31/477819498/in-omaha-a-library-with-no-books-brings-technology-to-all

http://www.npr.org/sections/npr-history-dept/2015/05/05/403529103/do-we-really-need-libraries