A couple of weeks ago The Aspen Institute announced a “working group to shape vision for public libraries.” I get pretty excited about groups that are not libraries working on the future of libraries especially policy and research focused groups. I am really looking forward to reading what comes out of this dialogue.
If you are not familiar with the The Aspen Institute it is
an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.
This new multi-year dialogue brings together leaders from inside and outside of libraryland to “explore, develop and champion new ways of thinking about U.S. public libraries.”
From the website:
As trusted institutions, public libraries serve their communities by improving digital skills, helping people access information in new ways, providing a space for learning at every age, and connecting people to jobs, educational opportunities and critical community services. Yet, despite these benefits, libraries face ongoing challenges with budget cuts and the need to adapt in an increasingly diverse, mobile and digital society.
To help advance the work that public libraries are doing to address these challenges and to support the transformation of public libraries for the digital age, the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program is spearheading a multi-year initiative to explore, develop and champion new ways of thinking about U.S. public libraries.
- Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest survey research: Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations
- American Libraries Magazine’s special report: “Digital Content: What’s Next?”
- The Atlantic Cities thought-provoking coverage of libraries
- John Seely Brown, New Learning Environments for the 21st Century
- American Library Association’s Office of Information Technology Policy: Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library