The Library of Birmingham (LoB) will open in 2013 as a world-class centre for culture, learning and knowledge, rewriting the book for public libraries in the 21st century. ‘Rewriting the Book‘, which is integral to the new LoB brand, recognises and embraces the present and future challenge to libraries……….The journey for the LoB has only just started. As the building takes shape in Centenary Square a parallel change has started only a few hundred yards away in the Central Library. Change is ultimately about people – the technology helps make the change and often enables it to happen in new ways, but without the vision and drive of the people who deliver the services it becomes just another technology fad. How we employ the technology into current and new services to enrich the lives of visitors to the new library – both physical and digital – is the true test of our vision. To address this challenge the LoB has defined the ‘Five Libraries’ concept which establishes a clear structure for change incorporating all that is good about the library concept but also embracing the need for a transformational approach to the digital agenda of the day.
In light of Online Learning benefits, more K-12 districts are recognizing online learning programs as an acceptable medium for educating their students. Recent meta studies have found that in some cases online learning may be superior to traditional classroom-based instruction.
Similarly, students may even begin to choose universities based on the strength of their online programs. Instead of comparing schools based solely on rankings, students might research a school’s online offerings to determine whether their required classes are available online…
There’s no question that reading enthusiasts are also sharing enthusiasts and it’s inconvenient at best to share a copyrighted ebook with a friend when the only way to do it is to lend your friend your entire portable library, or e-reader, so she can enjoy that one title you want to recommend. No wonder physical libraries continue to capture the public’s imagination, along with their contents.
In Evanston, Illinois, where the Friends of the Library fought long and hard to keep the South branch open but ultimately lost the battle with the city council, the Friends are celebrating the first anniversary of their makeshift volunteer-run replacement, the Mighty Twig branch. These steps forward wouldn’t be possibilities if it weren’t for the perseverance of grassroots support—and that culture of sharing that libraries embody.