Ready access to information challenges our traditional notions of information storage and retrieval, and to some it challenges the role that books and public libraries might have in our society. Since the mid 1990s, libraries have oriented themselves towards public participation beyond lending and reading. Libraries now offer an increasing range community focused creative activities. Spaces in libraries are transforming, becoming flexible and activity oriented in addition to housing archival and loan materials, desks and reading spaces. Understanding and demonstrating the impact and contribution of public libraries to communities given these transformations is critical.
As the manner and nature of the information storage and retrieval evolves in our digital age, there is a strong trend developing within public libraries to extend the range and scope of their programmed activities and services to support the communities they serve. There is an increase in making space in libraries for creative activity of different forms because less space is needed for hard copy stock as digitisation advances. It is in this context that this project researched the impact of public libraries as creative spaces in the communities they serve.
Working on behalf of the State Library of Queensland, the objectives of this project are to:
- investigate the community impact of creative spaces in public libraries;
- provide clear evidence of this impact;
- and articulate the opportunities to further embed creative spaces in public libraries or community spaces.
The results of this project are due to be launched early in 2016.