After sitting through several webinars over the last five weeks and seeing a plethora of other webinar offerings listed, I can't help but ask, is there a widening divide between academic and public libraries?
We all know that the days of the library as the sole place to find information is behind us. A lot of the examples given in my reference class of questions patrons ask were already outdated, and with the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices potential patrons can access a lot of basic information from anywhere. (Did people really go into or call the library to ask who the 11th president was or what movies a given actor was in? They always seemed like weird examples to me...)
As a result, libraries are working on ways to stay relevant, but how they're doing so seems to depend on the type of library.
So far I've been two webinars that brought up the idea of "maker spaces" or fablabs, where users can actually create things, be them 3D printed objects or a fully recorded and mixed album. There's also seems to be a greater move towards public library as community center, a place where the community can gather for programs and events, whether they have anything to do with the library or not. Then there's the idea of libraries loaning materials beyond traditional media (including tools, bakeware, and toys).