Long live the public library! It’s not dead yet. The internet hasn’t rendered physical reference centers obsolete, thanks to millennials. According to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data on US library attendance, millennials more than other generations appear to have a use for physical libraries. They may not always come for the books, but the country’s youngest adults show up. That works out well because librarians have been designing with them in mind. READ MORE: Millennials’ love of public libraries is driving an evolution in the design and culture of book repositories — Quartz
Libraries aren’t just for books, or even e-books, anymore. They are for checking out cake pans (North Haven, Conn.), snowshoes (Biddeford, Me.), telescopes and microscopes (Ann Arbor, Mich.), American Girl dolls (Lewiston, Me.), fishing rods (Grand Rapids, Minn.), Frisbees and Wiffle balls (Mesa, Ariz.) and mobile hot spot devices (New York and Chicago). Here in Sacramento, where people can check out sewing machines, ukuleles, GoPro cameras and board games, the new service is called the Library of Things. READ MORE: These Public Libraries Are for Snowshoes and Ukuleles | The New York Times
IF YOU WANT to teach your kid about ecology, sustainability, or the future of interactive education, take them to the New York Hall of Science and head for the giant virtual waterfall.
The massive digital faucet feeds the ecosystems of Connected Worlds, a cutting-edge installation that aims to teach youngsters about environmental science by immersing them in it. It’s an interactive simulation big enough to walk around inside—virtual reality that’s not piped into a headset but projected onto a real physical space.
Kids can shape the environment through a clever combination of physical and digital interaction. READ MORE: The Key to Digital Learning? Bring It Into the Real World | WIRED.
The world is tough place to navigate in a wheelchair. But finding ramps and elevators can be easier thanks to this handy map app that anyone can edit.
It’s called Wheelmap, and it tells you the accessibility status of public places all over the world. It’s free and grades locations in a traffic light-style, red-yellow-green scale of wheelchair accessibility. Developed by German nonprofit SOZIALHELDEN e.V., it’s now celebrating five years since launch. Since 2010, users have added nearly half a million entries across the globe.
“Accessible” means you can enter the place without steps, and that all rooms inside a building can be entered without steps, as well. “Limited accessibility” refers to entrances with a max of one step no higher than seven centimeters, and that the “most important rooms” can be entered without steps.
Wheelmap launched back in 2010, and since then, has become available in 22 languages. It’s available for both iOS and Android users.
In March, a group of New York library officials released a statement declaring that a “staggering infrastructure crisis” has crept up on the city’s public library system. In Brownsville, Brooklyn, one branch is “routinely forced to close on hot days” due to problems with air conditioning. Others are plagued with water-damaged books and facilities that are too small to accommodate everyone in their community.
General interest public libraries are no less necessary than they were in 1901, when Andrew Carnegie donated the equivalent of $147 million to construct 65 of them across New York City, but their focus is increasingly shifting away from books and toward things like English classes, job training workshops, community meeting spaces, or just places to read the news online for those without internet access.
While the public must continue to fight for these more practical resources, a number of oddball independent libraries cropping up around the North American continent offer an experience that can’t be found in their traditional counterparts. These boutique libraries are working to stretch our very idea about the word “library,” creating a real living community around the often very lonely act of reading.
READ MORE: The Rise of DIY Libraries | VICE
The winners of the 2015 American Institute of Architects Library Awards reflect how libraries are adapting—how they’re investing in technology and trying to reframe themselves as vital community gathering spaces. This year’s winners include a children’s library that teaches kids to grow their own food, a university library that has ditched half its collections to create collaborative work spaces, and libraries that are at the heart of catalyzing redevelopment in their neighborhoods. And they prove that even buildings filled with thousands of objects created from dead trees can be environmentally friendly.
READ MORE AND VIEW SLIDESHOW: 6 Buildings That Are Redefining The Library | Co.Design | business + design.
Also See: 2015 AIA / ALA Library Building Awards
If you’re looking for a creative space–a place to work that truly fosters collaboration, a place to learn new skills, a community of like-minded artists and entrepreneurs–you probably look on Yelp or do a Google search. That won’t yield much. These spaces are scattered across Yelp categories, and a Google search for “creative spaces” shows just a smattering of local spots. That’s what Berlin-based consulting studio ignore gravity discovered while researching creative spaces around the world.
So the studio pulled together data on hundreds of creative spaces and presented them in the Creative Space Explorer, a tool that lets users pinpoint creative spaces on a global map–and add their own. ” We define ‘creative space’ as an enviro that consciously is set up to trigger collaboration in a creative way,'” explains Max Krüger, one of the creators of Creative Space Explorer.
See the full article: Mapping Creative Spaces Around The World | Co.Exist | ideas + impact.