I am just fascinated, and thrilled, with digital media labs being installed in libraries. The YOUmedia space at Chicago Public Library is a great example of this type of thinking. I am working hard to get my library, Messenger Public Library, to build one. More and more research lend credibility to these types of environments.
For me, the major reason to have this type of space is to allow citizens to express their voice through mediums appropriate to society. Millions of people are rendered mute because they simply do not have access or the training to express their voice via sites like this, or on YouTube, or through some other means.
As schools continue to adopt transliteracy standards, such as those outline in the 21st Century Skills, libraries will need to be ready. Moreover, students are beginning to push schools into create policies and spaces that foster these skills. For example, the students at CPS recently asked the CEO of CPS to bring 21st century technology into schools. How long until they call on us? Wouldn’t it be great if we positioned ourselves to meet these needs?
I recently heard Siva Vaidhyanathan argue that companies like Google are successful because they fill a void created by failed public policy. I hope that we don’t fail here. People engaging information, creating information and learning to express their voice through various technologies has always been the role of libraries.