Libraries as Labs
Libraries have always existed at the juncture between knowledge consumption and knowledge creation. In the past, many book and article readers were also researchers and authors themselves. But the world has never before seen so many people able to engage in media creation. Libraries have a valid role in helping people become masters of the technology that surrounds us.
In this issue, we look at some libraries that are helping patrons learn the 21st-century skills that will not only help them be a part of an intellectual conversation that has gone digital but also help them be more productive citizens, equipped with the skills they need to be productively employed.
Brian Myers tells how his public library is supporting patrons in moving from being media consumers to becoming media producers. His library offers a club for teens that encourages them to learn computing skills through interactive game design. Kristen Mastel and Dave Huston review the media resources that can support a game design program in your library.
Other articles in this issue consider the development of library labs to support patrons in learning basic computing skills and in dealing with the real challenges of supporting the use of technology by lending A/V equipment and digital devices from the circulation desk.
As always, our columnists jump in with their advice on how to help users solve their tech problems and conquer the media that is the container for today’s messages.
No issue of our publication would be complete these days without an article that addresses the economic climate. Marshall Breeding comes to the rescue and provides a thoughtful opinion on how libraries can cope with the need for ongoing techno investment in the context of tightening budgets.
Though the pressure is on everywhere to restrict travel to only the most essential trips, I hope I will see as many of you as ever at our Computers in Libraries conference at the end of this month. There you will learn tips, tricks, and best practices for using technology to improve library performance and deliver the services your patrons need more than ever.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor