Libraries are changing. It’s not born out of planning or corporate interest, but out of necessity. The days where a mouse could be heard scurrying around the corner and a vigilant librarian shushing it to make less noise are gone. Yes the libraries most of us grew up with are now an idea of what we think they should be, rather then what they are.
Never has this been made more clear then canvasing the libraries across the state of Idaho at our Boise Library Make-It conference last week. Libraries are doing a better job at incorporating extended learning opportunities in a very hands on way to the community. While books still remain a focal point of access of information for some, others are finding their way to get that same information through computers, exploding technology, and a more engaging relationship between library and community.
Having the great pleasure of getting to take a field trip to JUMP a facility recently constructed in downtown Boise gives great evidence to see the push for hands on community learning. This is on the extreme scale but a reminder that this idea is not going away but instead pushing on further thus creating an imperative for libraries and the like to follow. A four story structure built merely to have a community rally behind, create, innovate, and take part in a group learning environment that serves a population that wouldn’t otherwise have access to such wonderful resources. This wide spectrum of learning includes a full commercial kitchen, wood/metal working suite with CNC machines, Plasma cutters, and yes 3D printers, to a fully stocked Production studio and Yoga/Dance hall.
What we learned and brought back with us from this conference is that we have the opportunity to be a part of this rising trend in modern culture. We have the pleasure of exploring a more visual, hands on environment as a library offering the young to old a different experience when they walk through the doors. Will you still be able to check out you’re favorite Patterson novel, absolutely. Make a photo copy of that drivers license, indeed. But in addition you might now add to that list of services a budding opportunity to take advantage of some innovative, creative STEM programming like activities if that is your pleasure as well. From our Summer of Code Program to our new 3D Printer (and program surrounding it on May 24th) we’re excited to bring a new era of library to the Salmon Community.
Check out some photos from JUMP as well as a video from the Boise CBS news about our conference.