Arizona Libraries Evolve For The Future
The University of Arizona’s Knowledge River program has gotten a half-million dollar grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The more than a decade-old program focuses on teaching library science to people with a commitment to the Latino and American Indian communities.
Gina Macaluso is manager of the Knowledge River Program at the UofA School of Information Resources and Library Science.
Lee Franklin with Phoenix Public Libraries said imposing buildings with dark, dusty stacks and shushing librarians aren’t what today’s consumers are looking for. At the Burton Barr branch in downtown Phoenix, Franklin said it’s a much more open, inviting atmosphere.
There’s also lots of flexible spaces that can easily convert from quiet reading rooms to learning labs.
In addition to art galleries with rotating exhibits and a small business incubator, the library also offers a slate of programming directed at literacy and education.
Judy Reno runs the “College Depot” on the second floor of Burton Barr, which helps people of all ages prepare for college.
Reno said it works both ways. The library is a place where the public can come for resources, but it takes an educated, interested community to keep the library relevant from generation to generation.