Public libraries as anchor institutions in smart communities: Current practices and future development

AbstractLocal governments around the world are exploring different strategies to become smarter: more efficient, sustainable, and highly interconnected. However, many actors outside government need to be involved too. For instance, public libraries have the potential to play a very important role in the development of smart and connected communities, due to their strong legitimacy in the eyes of citizens and the types of services and programs they are already providing, which in many cases go well beyond what could be considered traditional library services. This paper analyzes innovative practices in public libraries and argue that they already show the potential of public libraries to become catalysts for smart and connected communities. Together, these innovations represent an opportunity for governments and communities to engage and a new way to think about public libraries as very important actors in smart community initiatives.

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