Libraries go high-tech to stay relevant in the digital era

CNET | 4/8/2019 | Andrew Morse
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The Next Chapter is a multipart series that examines the changing role of libraries in a connected world.

Think of a library and you'll likely conjure up a building stuffed with dusty books and a disciplinarian ready to "shush" you for the slightest decibel-related infraction. That image hasn't changed for decades, even though libraries have.

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Libraries are repositioning themselves as cultural and learning centers for the digital age. Many lend out mobile hotspots, often for weeks at a time. Others offer classes in the latest tech, such as 3D printing and music-editing software. And libraries have some of the savviest social media editors around.

On Sunday, libraries across the country began celebrating their evolving mission during National Library Week. Melinda Gates serves as honorary chairwoman of the annual event, which is sponsored by the American Library Association. Gates is an appropriate choice: She and husband Bill began funding computers, internet access and software for libraries in low-income communities through an organization they established in 1997.

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CNET used the annual celebration to examine how libraries are changing. We found institutions adapting to the new world, addressing new needs and discovering new challenges.

The Broward County Libraries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are a good example of what the modern library looks like. The library has established lounges, called Creation Stations, to give visitors access to tech, as well as to teach digital skills. They offer classes and workshops...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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