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The New Golden Era for Libraries

Milner Library

Libraries will be beacons of hope and light in 2022, according to the Washington Post.

The newspaper’s Editorial Board ushered in the new year with praise for public libraries, touting the abundance of new libraries that have opened around the world in recent years, their architectural beauty, and the variety of services they offer to communities. In particular, they were impressed with Fayetteville Public Library in Arkansas, with its art and movement room, event center, and a teaching kitchen; the renovated Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, which provides not only ample places to read but also a business center, a podcasting studio, a floor dedicated to children and teens, and a rooftop terrace; Washington D.C.'s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, with its a large auditorium, conference center, rooftop terrace, café, and music production facilities.

Libraries abroad that caught the editorial board’s eye include the Wormhole Library in Haikou, China. Overlooking a river, its stunning mix of windows and concrete resembles a wormhole or cloud; the Stanley A. Milner Library in Edmonton, Alberta, which features 3-D printers, a sewing center, recording studios, and vinyl and laser cutters for special projects; and the award-winningDeichman Bjørvika in Oslo, with its cinema, 200-seat auditorium, cafes, recording studios, rehearsal spaces, and game rooms.

We are experiencing a “golden era for public libraries worldwide,” the Editorial Board wrote. And we wholeheartedly agree: The libraries featured annually in American Libraries’ Library Design Showcase and discussed in Call Number with American Libraries’ recent architecture and design episode all address community needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways, from the super high-tech Cybrarium in Homestead, Florida, to the small business-focused unBound branch of Meridian Library District in Idaho.

The newspaper’s Editorial Board concluded its story by stressing the value of public libraries. “Communities that invest in libraries are well prepared for whatever the next chapter brings,” they wrote. It’s absolutely true: In a world of uncertainties related to the pandemic, politics, economics, and much more, we can always count on libraries to help lead the way towards the light.

Don’t miss this new library renaissance—visit your local public library today!

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