Dialogue on Public Libraries

Source: Aspen Institute, 2013

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….

The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries will spark a national conversation to help communities and library institutions think in new ways about the mission and role of public libraries. The conversations held throughout this year will result in a report that outlines a shared vision for public libraries and provides recommendations to generate an ongoing national dialogue…..

…While the August meeting is invitation-only, there will be several opportunities for others to join the conversation and offer input and ideas for the vision through online feedback and at scheduled meetings and conferences throughout the year. Those opportunities will be added here following the August meeting.

In the meantime, join the conversation on Twitter. Use the Dialogue’s hashtag – #libraryvision – to share your vision for the next generation of public libraries.

What We’re Reading

As the Dialogue on Public Libraries sets out to explore the changing mission of public libraries, the working group will take a closer look at many of the rich resources that have already been developed by the library field. Check out the publications/articles below to see what we’re reading:
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 21 st Century
American Library Association’s Office of Information Technology Policy: Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library