The Evolution of Technology in Public Libraries

Throughout history, libraries have evolved to meet the changing needs of its constituents. With the rise of computers in the late 20th century, books were pushed aside to create computer labs.


As demand grew, so did those computer labs. Eventually, the technology boom turned libraries into a wireless hotspot where patrons and students use their own devices.


The Explosion of Technology in Public Libraries


The introduction of technology in libraries led to maker’s spaces complete with 3D printers, CAD programs and so much more. Lending libraries, where patrons check out tablets, smart speakers and other devices from digital kiosks, have become a mainstay in many communities. In some cases like at Bartholomew Public Library, there use voice-based AI platforms like LIBRO that can scan through thousands of catalogs instantly.


In addition, libraries have turned their attention to resources available anywhere a student and patron may be. Databases, e-books, audiobooks and all other electronic resources are available to patrons both in the library and remotely.


Today, the American Libraries Association conference features a Top Tech Trends session. Now libraries cover topics such as Quantum Computing, Digital Gaslighting, Blockchain Technology and Psychometrics. Twenty years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine those topics at a library conference.


The New Age Public Library


If you haven’t stepped into your local library in a few years, you should go. You’ll be amazed at how much it has changed. Libraries are drastically different compard to 10, 15 or 20 years ago.


You’ll still see plenty of people sitting and reading ink on paper, which is refreshing in today’s day in age. But you’ll also see so much more than that. The library is a special place – a community gathering spot, a forum for open discussion and fresh ideas, and a hub filled with a world of knowledge.


Nevertheless, it’s also a growing technology center. Even the least tech-savvy person can begin to learn all the information available in the digital world. It really is a place for everyone.


Please let us know your thoughts on your local public or academic library. If you enjoyed this blog, share it with friends and follow us for regular posts and updates.

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