By David F. Rooney
The Revelstoke library, like its sister branches of the Okanagan Regional Library, is due for what could be a the ultimate remake — one that could even change the very nature of the library as a public institution.
What!??! Is the library, which is probably one of the most elementary defining characteristics of human civilization, in danger? Is it going to vanish, go the way of the dodo? Or worse vanish like cuneiform tablets or papyrus scrolls? No. Of course not. But it is on the cusp of major technological, cultural and demographic change.
“Libraries are becoming hubs for all kinds of community engagement and creative activity,” Revelstoke Community Librarian Kendra Runnalls said in an interview last week.
In recognition of that, the ORL has invited a number of local residents and ardent library patrons to participate in what it is calling an Idea Lab on Wednesday evening. These invitees will describe their vision of the library’s possible future and discuss what they think will work — and not work. We have already seen many changes over the years: increasingly important children’s programming, the need for meeting spaces, public lectures and slide shows, the advent of digital books and other publications (that are often much cheaper than traditionally printed publications, which is an important consideration for traditionally under-funded libraries) and more.
As an avid library patron (it’s a rare week when I don’t drop by at least twice a week) I’ll be attending as a participant and will take a few photos and write a story about this event.
If you have particular ideas or concerns you’d like me to bring to the Idea Lab please send me an e-mail at email@example.com.