While exploring the global libraries module, I began to see the pattern among international public libraries. The international libraries are slowly transitioning from the Carnegie models to wide spaces that host various services that go beyond providing literary material and reading spaces. The libraries include makerspaces, event and gallery rooms to their services. They are becoming spaces where individuals can interact with one another and build relationships. The libraries are becoming participatory spaces. For example, Finland’s central library, Oodi, has become a hub of innovation for the Finns. The Oodi library has three floors, each dedicated to different activities. Even though the library allows users to use equipment like sewing machines, 3D printers, among other technologies, the most significant innovation in this library is a space called “Cube.” This space consists of giant touch screens allowing library users to convert almost anything into a 3D virtual reality (Cord, 2018). Students can use it as a study space, and others can showcase an interactive art gallery. Spaces like the “Cube” and the Oodi library are making it possible for library users to be as creative as they would like to be and still maintain the heart of the library as an information/educational hub

Credit: Elizabeth Ramirez Segura

Adding to the innovation of library spaces, some international libraries ask for community input in creating creative and participatory library spaces. One library in Denmark, Dokk1 Library Aarhus, took public opinion as they built the central library. What type of services can the library provide? What are their information needs? were some of the questions they asked the public (Public Libraries 2030, 2015). By including public opinion, the Dokk1 library created spaces where customers can explore different digital and visual elements, interact with other individuals, and continue to enrich their cultural knowledge. Furthermore, allowing patrons to voice their opinions on their information or library needs aids libraries in provided spaces that are not based on what the library staff and administrators think their customers need. It was about allowing library customers to participate in creating the library that will be utilized by them and inspire the growth of knowledge for generations to come. 

The Oodi and Dokk1 libraries are just two of the many international libraries that are actively moving the use of the libraries forward in innovative ways. The two libraries are not waiting to see how the future will transform them. They are already transforming themselves in ways users find helpful, which should be ideal for libraries worldwide. Innovation, creativity, and participation are critical components for libraries of the future. 

Reference

Cord, D. J. (2018, December). Helsinki invests in its people with a library that reinvents the genre. thisisFINLAND. https://finland.fi/life-society/helsinki-invests-in-its-people-with-a-library-that-reinvents-the-genre/?fbclid=IwAR02YiMMaUOXanedOfFbDrzhou_4s1_oHQInvzYDk3bPJeu9Vx3D_ItX5Zs. 

Public Libraries 2030. (2015, April 27). Pl 2020 Tour- Denmark- A knowledge hub for the community. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvFfbjs8aZo.