The Future Library
Here is where our story reaches the present
Looking back, it hardly seems possible we got to this point from 60 books in a small room above a store in 1865. What would J.S. Boughton think if he could see his library now?
The same might be asked of us when future Lawrencians look back on the library of today. What can we imagine the library will be like then?
In an oral history interview, library director Brad Allen reflects,
I think at root libraries will always continue to look at the context of the world that they live in, that we all live in, and make sure that we are evening the playing field, that whenever there’s an equity issue that we’re there to face it. And if somebody doesn’t have access to something, we figure out how to provide it, because there always will be these divides. But what the divide is is always changing…And what that looks like in the future, you know, I really don’t know.
Who indeed can know what kind of information and services the people of Lawrence will need in the coming years and decades? So much has changed in the 150 years the library has been in existence and so much will continue to change. But at its deepest essence, the library has remained the same. It has always been a place for people to gather and freely access resources unavailable to them anywhere else.
And so one thing can be certain of: whatever Lawrencians of the future need (floating interactive holograms, is my guess), the Lawrence Public Library will be there to provide it.