Libraries as Online Hubs that Aggregate Local Community Information

May 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

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Here’s a conversation librarians should be in on…  The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy in partnership with PBS Engage is looking for input on questions like:  “What are the information needs of communities in our American democracy?” Go join in or just read the comments.

Mark Glaser at MediaShift has reviewed the input received so far and has this to say:

Problem: Where can people find the local information they need, whether it’s about a school board meeting, a new construction project or a nearby robbery? Solution: A community hub, with all the information aggregated in one online source and pushed out via libraries, in-person meetings, community radio, small run print publications and cable access TV.

That’s great, but instead of just pushing them out, why not libraries as the creators of such local hubs?  That comes later in the post:

One of the least noted aspects of creating a community hub is the vital importance of the public library in town. The library has always been a beacon of information in communities, providing books, CDs, videos and Internet terminals at low or no cost. They can take the next step and become community learning centers, helping people with digital literacy and finding information online.

Libraries can and already are and should be doing this!

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