Pic of the day – Save the Library!
This button showed up on my door today. I love it! I also know what it’s about. Here in Ann Arbor there is a proposal for more tax revenue for the library. Michigan has economy woes, and folk have latched onto this as an abuse, a “bubble”, something not really necessary and overrated. I talked a little bit in my ETechLib blog about why I disagree.
Makerspace meets medical library, maybe: http://etechlib.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/makerspace-meets-medical-library-maybe/
There are so many innovative technologies empowering the little folk, a huge culture shift toward entrepreneurs and innovation. Who do you think is going to buy publicly accessible entry level equipment for you to practice on if you aren’t paying tuition? Who do you think will be teaching free classes and answering questions about the new tech? The public libraries, that’s right. Do you think they can do that in a space designed for the previous century? Maybe, but it would be really hard if not impossible.
Dick Dougherty wrote a piece on this in the AnnArbor.com site. Basically, he thinks if this fails, Ann Arbor will be taking the first big steps into a long downward slide. I agree with him, and it’s part of my job to look at future trends. All the folk I’ve heard oppose this say, “And I LOVE my library! I just don’t think they need this money!” When they describe what they love about the library it isn’t the library of the future, nope. It’s the old type of library they grew up with.
Folks, that isn’t going to help the city prepare for the future in troubled times. You are missing the point. And you’ll be pretty upset when the results come home to rest, because we expect the library to plan for these things. They did. The AADL has more innovation and creativity per square foot than any other library I’ve seen. They will try valiantly to do the best they can with what they have. They will try. So blame yourself if they can’t quite pull us up by our bootstraps without our help.