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November 7, 2012

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Looking into the future of libraries

LANGLEY— CUPE library workers from throughout the lower mainland attended the Fraser Valley Region Libraries’ “Future of Libraries and Cities” conference in Langley last week.

Heads of libraries, city councillors, library board members and library workers heard a four-part presentation from futurist Thomas Frey. The conference was designed to give attendees the opportunity to put their minds together and talk about what they think the future holds for libraries.

Denise Parks, CUPE 402-02 chairperson, says that the group looked at the past and how technology has changed the things we do in our day to day lives.

She says the discussion focused on the need for public libraries to transition from the centers of information to the centers of culture. She notes that the function and purpose of libraries in the future may be completely different than what exists today.

Frey says there are many factors to consider as library workers today plan the coming years and develop initiatives for the next generation of library workers and library users. 

He also points out that the future is driven by the creators of technological advancements and says that we will all need to be forward thinking and embrace changes while planning libraries into the future.

“The library of the future will be where great ideas happen and where people have the tools and facilities to act on them,” says Frey. “The future is created by the minds of the people around us. Our vision of the future guides the decisions we make today. We need to always be looking at what may come in the next five to ten years, and beyond.”

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