A public library is a hackerspace avant la lettre

Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library

iMacs in Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library. Photo © tbd.com, 2011

Meg Backus and Thomas Gokey, instructors of “IST 600: Innovation in Public Libraries” (School of Information Studies / University of Syracuse, NY), a class meant to “develop and test-drive new approaches to public librarianship borrowing from and being inspired by recent innovations in contemporary art practices”, share a very enthusiastic vision of what is the purpose of today’s libraries:

“We do not share the malaise of many librarians who worry that the Internet and e-books are going to make public libraries obsolete. On the contrary, these shifts liberate libraries to spend more of their resources on their essential purpose within a democracy. A public library is a hackerspace avant la lettre. It is a democracy machine where people inform themselves and then literally go out and form the world they live in. It is a place that empowers people to actively hack the social codes they live in. There has never been so much work for libraries to do! (…)”

(Thank you Make:)