TIME published a very short article yesterday on the future of libraries, reporting on several ways "feisty librarians" are creatively responding to shrinking budgets and greater demand for services. I thought that non-librarians might be interested in seeing some examples of how libraries are trying to reinvent themselves. Perhaps there are even some ideas to take away for consideration.
Libraries are trying to meet people where they are. Bookmobiles have been around for ages, but now libraries are exploring some new outreach models. For example, the Free Library of Philadelphia set up library Hot Spots in underserved neighborhoods, which are equipped with computers, printers, and small reference collections. Also, last year the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (where I used to work!) opened a “library without walls” open only on the weekends at the popular Pittsburgh Public Market.