Librarians as Pioneers: Charting New Courses

Librarians as Pioneers: Charting New Courses

Librarians are exploring a new frontier as they serve their patrons and the community in bold new ways.

The theme for this year's National Library Week is "Libraries Transform," and libraries around the country are rising to that challenge. Innovative labs, called makerspaces, are becoming increasingly prevalent in today's library. These collaborative areas are giving kids new places to learn as they team with their peers to invent, discover, and grow.

Libraries are embracing the "Libraries Transform" movement by offering art supplies, electronic building blocks, digital recording studios, new programs, and other means by which to creatively solve problems in a flexible setting.

And that's not all that's changing.

Library professionals are exploring what it means to help their communities in new ways. Reaching out to the community to identify shared concerns and help local groups solve problems beyond the library's walls has already proven successful. Transforming libraries is about more than offering patrons new experiences in the library; it is about "Turning Outward."

There are several ways to make a difference by adopting this role. A New York library established positive relationships within the community by persuading local government officials to fix the stoplight in their small town. In Connecticut, a library even served as a neutral party, successfully increasing trust between its community's citizens and its police force.

As we celebrate National Library Week, first celebrated in 1958, it is clear that this is an exciting time for libraries! As part of the celebration, Brodart will be offering access to a special title list via Twitter this week—just follow @BrodartPulse to gain access.

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