The library is a dynamic space for start-ups as well as individuals. It is a space that combines the physical learning experience with the virtual tools. It is a place that has formal teaching and training programs as well as collaborative work-spaces for small groups to gather and exchange ideas.
General Assembly is a good example of how the physical and virtual spaces are being combined to create knowledge. The description of services reflect the types of work we are doing now and will be doing in the future.
The development of virtual services is not a replacement for the types of spaces, tools and opportunities for exchange that is required for profitable work. Yes, we are more efficient with our virtual tools, but we still need spaces. In the past, we would say that libraries provide the 3rd space – not home or work. However, the world is blurring and the difference between home and work is not so clearly defined.
Often, people need spaces that allow them to be motivated by the other people or they need to be in a setting to be more productive. For example, if I were at home, I would get distracted and watch TV instead of working on my business plan.
In “We must protect and reinvent our local libraries” by Jeanette Winterson, she makes an impassioned argument for why the library is invaluable. After all, John Maynard Keynes believed in culture – why wouldn’t it help others become great?
For anyone working to develop a better community and enhance their education and culture – Jeanette’s quote of Andrew Carnegie is worth reflecting on –
“Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.”