On a Monday morning between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Paris,
the line for modern art museum Centre Georges Pompidou winds around the
block. But the patrons waiting in the cold aren’t there to catch a
glimpse of a Magritte—they’re young locals queueing for access through
the museum’s back door to another attraction: Bibliothèque publique
d'information, or the public library.
In a digital age that has left book publishers reeling, libraries in
the world’s major cities seem poised for a comeback, though it’s one
that has very little to do with books. The Independent Library Report—published
in December by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and
Sport—found that libraries across the nation are re-inventing themselves
by increasingly becoming “vibrant and attractive community hubs,”
focusing on the “need to create digital literacy—and in an ideal world,
digital fluency.” Read article....