The Modern Library

20160210_115551The Library is a different place than it used to be. It is keeping up with the needs and lifestyle of a modern community.

I had to take a picture of this suggestion and the response from our library. I am proud to see their clear decision to become a “community hub”. On any given visit we see one-on-one tutoring, students working on projects, and people hosting a range of formal and informal meetings. They host Lego parties and show movies. The other day they had a viewing of Mad Max Fury Road. Whoa. At the library?

To the concerned library goer’s credit, the children’s area is loud and rambunctious. It has to be! Keeping 20-30 preschoolers quiet in any location is unrealistic. More importantly, modern parenting doesn’t try to enforce such rules. We are open to the chaos and help our children manage the waves of emotion they experience vs. controlling the emotions we expect them to have. We sing songs, clap, and get vocally excited while seeing our favorite characters in a book. The library gets it.

What a change. The library used to be a formal place where you had to be quiet and not make a sound. Shhhh! The change is evident in my own reaction to being in a modern library. When I am talking with other parents after toddler time I once in awhile look over my shoulder- Are we allowed to do this? Shouldn’t we talk somewhere else? Nope. Everything is okay. This is a community space and we are practicing the art of community. If you want quiet there is a place for you to go. But engaging with other people is now the default library setting. (I can already hear my grandmother ranting about how things used to be and “kids these days”.)

The days of the buttoned-up library are over. Good riddance. What a great illustration of how our culture is changing across the board. Our children have it good. What are the ways your library is a community hub?



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