The Future of Libraries: Making Stuff with Your Patrons

note: I’m on my way to the Bibliothekartag Library Conference in Hamburg, Germany so my dear friend Michael Whittaker will be giving this presentation at the Maine Library Conference today.  Thank you to Michael for talking to Maine librarians about this topic!

Technology, eBooks and shrinking budgets are all causing libraries to rethink their position within the community. How can we reach out to our patrons when so much is limited? Luckily, advances in technology have made it easier for librarians to become community centers where their patrons can become active in a participatory culture. In this program, Justin Hoenke will explore a possible future for the public library where librarians will act as producers of content who work directly with their patrons. Justin will share his experiences with participatory programming for teens in hopes of encouraging librarians to look toward creating their own participatory environments in the public library.

Program developed by Justin Hoenke
Program presented by Michael Whittaker

Michael Whittaker has worked for the Portland Public Library for nine years. He managed the Reiche Branch – which served the most demographically diverse square mile in Maine – for six+ years and currently divides his time at the Main Branch between the Teen and Public Computing sections. He is a connectivist who, for over thirty years has created and inspired alternative delivery systems of cultural literacy to various youth constituencies and sub-cultures. His pioneering work with artists as diverse as: Sonic Youth, Sarah Brightman, Sting, Black Flag and projects such as The “Altered Book Project,” and “World’s Longest Lobster Roll”  have won Whittaker international acclaim as both an innovator and iconoclast.


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