The modern library debate

Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye was on Kim Hill’s show recently, talking about his work. He provided an interesting description of what he thinks a modern library is like.

Think about the library as a network hub, a place where the community hall is merged with the library, and social services are also activated there. So you have life-long learning, you can learn motor mechanics, flower arranging, yoga, you can get a book, you can get a class on languages, you can get government services. So it really becomes a hub, and it becomes one of the few places where you see multi generations of people, people of different languages and backgrounds, all coming under a service that is supplied in their community and neighbourhood.

And it helps with this idea that the library is more than just a container for books, which is really a post-war idea to do with educating and edifying communities,  but the library has become in our communities a place where communities overlap and children and adults overlap, a place which can edify and continue life-long learning, which we know is now incredibly important. It’s no longer just getting your education till your eighteen or twenty and then that’s it. There’s so many technological changes, information is changing so much, that life-long learning is part of our way of life in big cities.

Sir David Adjaye, Wikipedia

Aspects of this seem to fit nicely with the vision for our new Central Library.

Listen to the full Radio NZ interview with Sir David Adjaye.

Public Libraries: the changing face of the public library  features:

  • information on how public libraries are changing in the UK,
  • debate about the Idea Store concept (which Sir David was involved in designing).

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