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Education Hardware Hacking Build News

Should Public Libraries Become Hacker Spaces? 164

ptorrone writes "Public libraries — the availability of free education for all — represent the collective commitment of a community to their future. They symbolize what is most important, a commitment to educating the next generation. The role of a public library should also adapt over time, and that time is finally here. It's time to plan how we're going to build the future and what place public libraries have, should have, or won't have. MAKE's latest article encourages everyone to start talking about one of our great resources, the public library, and its future."
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Should Public Libraries Become Hacker Spaces?

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  • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @10:02AM (#35452210) Homepage

    Just because you haven't been in a library in years doesn't mean they're dying out. With the recession, I'd say my local library is busier than ever.

    • Want to watch a movie tonight for free?
    • Need a computer to search for a job or fill out a job application?
    • Need a book for resume advice?
    • Want to try out a cookbook before you buy it as you're doing more cooking at home and need some more variety?
    • Kids need a place while their parents are working a second job? (okay, this one's a bit of a problem; not all kids are well behaved)

    All are available at your library. Some even loan out video games. (ours doesn't, but we organize video game nights for the kids; I'm working on organizing a 'video game swap' at the next one so people can trade the games they're not playing with other people)

    And those are just the reasons for the busier times; I see the same parents picking up an armload a week for their kids to read. When the kid's going through a book a night, it adds up, even at $0.99 ebooks. And this way, you don't have to worry about the kid breaking a $100+ ebook reader, or get one for each kid.

    If anything, the reason they're not going to survive is because of budget cuts due to loss of tax revenue. There's been a concerted push to get politicians to back up when they say 'We support education' to fund the libraries, or explain what they really mean is 'We support schools', even when most of their time is wasted teaching to standardized tests.

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @12:35PM (#35453728)
    Most of the towns around me have cut hours severely and even closed branches. This is a cruel irony because many unemployed people have stopped paying for home internet in favor of public internet. Many libraries are funded by property taxes, which havent gone up much lately.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10