The next library is a place, still. A place where people come together to do co-working and coordinate and invent projects worth working on together. Aided by a librarian who understands the Mesh, a librarian who can bring domain knowledge and people knowledge and access to information to bear.
Technological veneer won’t save the library. Half-hearted attempts to integrate social networking, or ebooks, or digital media will fail. The Internet offers better and broader selections of all those things.
Fortunately, the library’s best resource was never its catalog, but its people. The visionary librarian must reclaim her historic role as the community’s information curator and collaboration coordinator.
Imagine an open environment boasting the resources of today’s “coworkplaces:” whiteboard walls, blazing broadband speeds, standing desks engineered for collaboration, and widescreen monitors everywhere. Now add the coup de grace: a professional information sleuth, ready to help your team sift through the Internet’s vast piles of information—eager to help you find inroads into the problem at hand.
Now that’s a library worth visiting.