The Future of Libraries
The 2014 ALA Annual Conference continues at a relentless pace, with concurrent speaker sessions, poster sessions, informal discussions, and author signings with lines for books by Lois Lowry and Judy Blume wrapping around the exhibit hall. It’s heartening to see librarians waiting 45 minutes for a moment with their favorite authors.
Pauline Lemasson attended the “Future of Libraries” panel, moderated by ALA President Barbara Stripling, and included Corinne Hill, director of the Chattanooga Public Library, Carolyn Foote, District Librarian for Eanes Independent School District, and Dr. Pearl Ly, Director of Library Services at College of Marin.
Corinne strongly emphasized that libraries need to constantly innovate and be trend watchers across a wide spectrum of areas including politics, economics, demographics, culture and technology. She mentioned that libraries are not warehouses, but places for ideas. She describes herself as operating a dual library. One is about the books and delivering information as libraries have been doing for 3,000 years and the other is the place for innovating, producing, experimenting in order to better adapt for the future.
Carolyn expressed that school libraries form the foundation of how students perceive and utilize all other libraries. Therefore, the school library offers many opportunities for engagement and involvement.
Corinne regularly follows and reads Wired, Wall Street Journal, and The Futurist to help her envision the future. Carolyn reads Fast Company and The Unquiet Librarian, while Pearl follows The Ubiquitous Librarian, and In the Library with the Lead Pipe.