On Saturday, September 21st, Madison will open its new Central Library, a symbol of our city's commitment to learning, creating, and thinking. This is not your mother's or father's library and it is not even your childhood library. This is your library of the future.
The Central Library includes traditional books and library services and also has welcoming spaces, innovative programming that showcases community expertise and new technologies that offer residents interactive and exciting new ways of learning, connecting, and sharing ideas with others. Space previously dedicated to books and periodicals are now occupied by computer stations, which no longer resemble call center cubicles but are real work areas.
As demographics change and technology rapidly advances, the role of public libraries is evolving. Modern libraries retain their traditional values but are also enhanced by the latest technological innovations. The new Central Library offers five times more public computers, Wi-Fi throughout the building, a fully equipped Media Lab and expert staff assistance. The Central Library is technologically advanced.
Libraries are serving as busy neighborhood community centers and the new Central Library is a shining example of the new role public libraries play in community building. The new library offers an abundance of meeting spaces and programs that invite residents to gather and share ideas and experiences. Meeting rooms are no longer focused just on the needs of a lecturer but provide the latest interactive technology for real group dynamics.
Engaged staff offer equitable access to tools which allow residents to learn and discover the information they need to lead healthy and engaged lives. The new Central Library also serves as a celebration of creative expression, showcasing art by local and national artists. Many of the features in the new library – from lighting to building materials to the very concept of a shared library collection – are environmentally sensitive and focus on sustainable use of shared resources.
I invite you to experience the new Central Library. And bring friends and family, they will thank you for offering up a new adventure.
Join us this weekend, September 21-22, 2013 at the Central Library's Grand opening festivities.