The Library's Renaissance: Modern Day Idea Incubator?

By Roberto Ramos, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Communications at the Doneger Group
February 15, 2017

The advent of digital technologies, including e-books, put to test the lasting power of libraries as we knew them. Could seemingly cumbersome experiences such as late book returns and fees (analogous to video rental annoyances of years past) survive in the on-demand era? Libraries have braved the challenge by embracing good tech while positioning themselves around a consumer shift favoring physical experiences.

The library of the present/future will be more of a community experience, delivering conversational spaces, cultural platforms, and through welcoming environments, informal working areas for many a budding writer or entrepreneur. The library is the original shared work-space environment.

Town libraries should find ways to further nurture, package and take credit for fostering these cultural and entrepreneurial networks. Think of new opportunities for libraries including cultural festivals and public/private initiatives to identity new entrepreneurs. This innovative wave also has great creative implications for how libraries look, with a greater focus on design statements that bring ideas, experiences and sharing to life. This presents great opportunities for cities, the arts community and companies working together to build more enticing work/life environments. It is by sitting at the center of what communities look like in the present and not so distant future, where libraries will continue to carry their centuries-long tradition of ushering new thinking. Which is your favorite library and how is driving change?