Libraries are less about what they have, and more about what they do

Libraries have evolved significantly over the last 20 years. In that time, we have designed more than 40 libraries across the country. While some may question the relevancy of libraries in today’s digital age, we have seen first-hand that these most public of all institutions are still critical to a community’s well-being. Built on the foundation of access to knowledge for all regardless of creed, birth, economy, or education, libraries are a great equalizer. Whereas libraries of our recent past were about content consumption, today’s libraries are more intent on content creation. Communities have brought libraries back to life by embracing their communal spaces to create, make, examine, imagine, compose, and propose new ideas. A library is a fixed built environment, yet every visit, every interaction offers a distinctive experience. When a library melds the legacy of its past with the possibilities of the future, it is both familiar and comfortable, yet novel and inspiring. Libraries of today are anything but a tired, empty shell for books. They are community catalysts.