Reinventing Public Library Services for the 21st Century

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The principal role of the public library is to serve and provide the public with information resources and knowledge. Nevertheless, libraries are not serving the same type of public they did a few years ago. People?s visions and expectations of the public library have dramatically changed, especially with the rapid rise of technological innovations. Libraries are thought to be on the verge of extinction because many believe there will be no use for them in the digital age. However, many libraries are taking initiative and have already developed new ways and ideas to entice the public to utilize the library more and to recognize that the library can be an exciting place that offers more services beyond just lending books to patrons. Many public libraries are rethinking and reevaluating their role of public service and are making changes to remain astride of developing technology. Public libraries have also extended their efforts and ideas on new services to accommodate a wide variety of people. Many programs for youth and young adults have been developing in public libraries nationwide, and many of these have taken the rising use of technology in mind. Through the reinvention and reengineering of their services, public libraries are bridging digital divides, bridging generation gaps, and striving to revoke stereotypical views to provide a better future for the libraries themselves and the public they serve.


Jennifer Masunaga




Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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