Community (is greater than) eBooks

This image is from and is being used because of a Creative Commons license!

If you’ve read anything that I’ve shared, retweeted, liked, +1’ed, or written myself over the past few years, you may notice a trend.  The more I become invested in libraries, the more that I believe that the library of the future is less about collecting stuff and more of a space that emphasizes community created content and interaction.

The current discussions around eBooks, streaming, digital lending, and everything under that umbrella makes me believe that this is the path forward for libraries even more.  We have a great opportunity to reinvent ourselves at this moment in time.  I highly suggest we take advantage of it.

With this post, I hope to collect as many resources on this idea as possible.  I’ll continue to update this post as I find relevant information concerning this topic.

Thank you for listening.

Keeping Libraries Current: Provide Access to Tech, Info, and People
by The Connected Librarian

As print collections are gradually being reduced to make way for increased digital resource buying and physical equipment, libraries are looking to transform themselves into relevant and viable places to get things done. 

Battles and Wars by Mick Jacobsen
I don’t know about you, but I am fighting the War to make the Library vital to my community and make the community I serve the best in the world.

An eBook is not a Book by Nate Hill
In this transitional time, public libraries should aim for the future and invest in toolsets and programming that help their communities produce and participate in new digital works, not simply consume them.  To make something is to understand something. 

Libraries as Incubators
At a time in which both libraries and arts organizations are often having to do more with less, it makes sense for these two parts of our culture to support each other. The Library as Incubator Project calls attention to one of the many reasons libraries are important to our communities and our culture, and provides a dynamic online forum for sharing ideas.

Library You by the Escondido Public Library
LibraryYOU is a project by the Escondido Public Library to collect and share local knowledge through videos and podcast.

Skokie Public Library Digital Media Lab
(The Digital Media Lab) contains four new Apple desktop computers loaded with software that will enable users to creatively express themselves through digital videos, music, photography, websites, graphic design, podcasts, presentations and other forms of digital media.

The Hyperlinked Library by Michael Stephens
(The Hyperlinked Library is) an open, participatory institution that welcomes user input and creativity. It is built on human connections and conversations. The organizational chart is flatter and team-based. The collections grow and thrive via user involvement. Librarians are tapped in to user spaces and places online to interact, have presence, and point the way. The hyperlinked library is human. Communication, externally and internally, is in a human voice. The librarians speak to users via open, transparent conversation.

The Fab Lab at the Fayetteville Free Library
Over the past fifty years, the manner in which we process information has changed. New technological developments have changed the way we interact with information, allowing us to become “creators” rather than just “consumers.” There are few places that currently provide community access to new, innovative creation technology like 3D printers.  These spaces, known as Fabrication Labs (fab labs), Hackerspaces, and Tech Shops, share common goals: collaboration and ‘making.’ They exist to give their specific communities the ability to ‘make’ through sharing knowledge and skills. They provide the technology necessary to make almost anything. 

My collected writings and projects on this topic


  1. I still think, students learn better when you involve them in the learning processes. Tools driven by technology are great, but still hands-on-activites cannot be replaced. Doing and discovering need real stage, students to be actors in reality. What a person learns by doing is incomparable by what he/she learns by investigating. Although technology facilitate Education! ebooks are Good, but handling a hard copy to read and keep it to your children in your own library is Magnificent!

  2. I agree – it is about content creation, content co-creation with the community and a whole lot of different way of encouraging and enabling storytelling and shared storytelling. It is also about getting this content out there, accessible and preserved so that the stories/content are available for the future, just as we have important stories from the past.

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