Fifteen small U.S. public libraries have been selected to participate in the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project led by OCLC in partnership with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL). The libraries, chosen from 106 completed applications, are located in 12 different states and serve communities ranging in size from 1,000 to 21,000 people.
The selected libraries are:
- Bertha Voyer Memorial Library, Honey Grove, Texas, population served 1,670
- Caledonia Public Library, Caledonia, Minnesota, population served 6,319
- Cornwall Public Library, Cornwall, New York, population served 16,841
- Glenns Ferry Public Library, Glenns Ferry, Idaho, population served 1,100
- Greenwich Free Library, Greenwich, New York, population served 4,942
- Hot Springs Library, Hot Springs, North Carolina, population served 560 (21,157 in county)
- Ignacio Community Library, Ignacio, Colorado, population served 5950 (town 750, district 5,200)
- James Kennedy Public Library, Dyersville, Iowa, population served 5,000
- Madison Public Library, Madison, South Dakota, population served 12,622
- Norelius Community Library, Denison, Iowa, population served 8,298
- Punxsutawney Memorial Library, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, population served 15,760
- Ronan Library District, Ronan, Montana, population served 8,645
- Town Creek Public Library, Town Creek, Alabama, population served 1,080
- Tucker Free Library, Henniker, New Hampshire, population served 4,900
- Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library, Wilton, New Hampshire, population served 3,400
Each library will be represented by a staff member, who will be guided through a training program designed by WebJunction, the learning program of OCLC Research. Participants will apply what they learn to reimagine and reconfigure library space to support socially engaging and active learning programming that addresses a defined community need.
"These libraries were chosen based on a well-articulated understanding of their communities, commitment to championing economic and educational success, and an enthusiasm for bringing the voice of community members to their planning process," said Sharon Streams, Director, WebJunction. "We are excited to work with these libraries as they create spaces that will encourage people to explore, play and learn together. We can't wait to get started."
Over an 18-month period, participants will be introduced to the principles of placemaking, community engagement and human-centered space design. After conducting community input, action planning and prototype activities, the libraries will implement a learning space using a starter set of materials.
Learn more about the project on the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces section of the WebJunction website, and stay tuned as more information on the individual libraries, their Smart Spaces projects and the principles they learn are shared.
This two-year project is funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The agency's mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. The agency’s grant making, policy development and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Association for Rural & Small Libraries
The Association for Rural & Small Libraries, Inc. is a network of persons throughout the country dedicated to the positive growth and development of libraries. ARSL believes in the value of rural and small libraries and strives to create resources and services that address national, state and local priorities for libraries situated in rural communities.
OCLC is a nonprofit global library cooperative providing shared technology services, original research and community programs so that libraries can better fuel learning, research and innovation. Through OCLC, member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library collections and services. Libraries gain efficiencies through OCLC's WorldShare, a complete set of library management applications and services built on an open, cloud-based platform. It is through collaboration and sharing of the world’s collected knowledge that libraries can help people find answers they need to solve problems. Together as OCLC, member libraries, staff and partners make breakthroughs possible.
As an open learning community, WebJunction provides online resources, programming and learning opportunities that build the knowledge, skills and confidence that library staff need to power relevant, vibrant libraries. A program of OCLC Research, WebJunction designs and delivers transformational programs that connect public library service to community needs such as lifelong learning, health and wellness, and economic success. More than 70 percent of all U.S. public libraries across all 50 states have participated in WebJunction programs and learning since 2003.
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