A Library’s New Life

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/06/arts/design/helsinki-library-oodi.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FLibraries%20and%20Librarians&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

 

Within today’s library and information world, much talk has been had about what it means to be a library or librarian. In Helsinki’s public library, Oodi, the discussion of how a library can be reshaped to fit current needs by users allowed for a completely new and reinvented library.

After reading about all of it resources, such as a machine to carve wood (because why not?), large event spaces, workrooms, and reading rooms, the library is finding unique ways to remain not only relevant but also resourceful. Thomas Rogers writes: “Given its breadth of services, one might be forgiven for wondering whether Oodi should be considered a library at all.” I think this an interesting point to make; however, I do think it should be considered a library still because it is doing what libraries initially set out to do: provide information needs to the public. This doesn’t change when technology influences how this information is shared.

Books used to be the main way in which information could be transferred from one person to the next—and they still are to some extent—but now other technologies are allowing for such an exchange and library and information professionals within their respected institutions should respond accordingly. The library’s director, Anna-Maria Soininvaara, echoed this sentiment when she said, “Books are important, but it’s not the whole library.”

 

By Taylor Norton, INFO653-02

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by Hugh McLeod

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Pratt Institute School of Information
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