What might the future library offer?

In our opening post, we touched on the many different forms the future library might take. Although it is almost certain that books will remain a large part of a library’s content, the digitisation of journals and other stock has created space which in turn opens up opportunities for new services to be adopted by libraries.

If new technology means that we are moving from merely consuming to interacting and ultimately producing information, then it seems logical that the library will become one of the critical places where new ideas are born.

Maker Spaces and FabLabs are a popular option for libraries looking to expand their services. Maker Spaces and Fab Labs are technology-rich places where people gather to co-create, share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network and build. Typically users can access a variety of specialist hardware and software that can assist with anything from animation to drone piloting, and 3D printing facilities are usually a central feature. Design and craft activities supported with technology such as vinyl cutting or specialist sewing machines might also feature.

Exhibitions, science fairs, gaming workshops and tutorials are ideas that might also enrich the library experience. At the same time, practice and performance space for actors and musicians expand the idea of the library and the type of knowledge that might be constructed there.

In some places, even food preparation spaces are also becoming a popular addition to libraries who host performances in the evening and run cookery workshops that are particularly useful for overseas students and those living away from home for the first time.

These are just some of the services that new libraries are considering, but we really want to know what you would like to see included in your future library, or what you would hate to lose! Comments below or message us @nuignewlibrary. We are excited to hear your ideas!

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