Future of Libraries

Library Directors

The nine library directors interviewed for this series.

Ever wonder what libraries will look like in the future? And how they’re partnering with people in their communities to address information needs?

During a Knight conference exploring the role of libraries in the digital world, we interviewed library directors from eight communities - Philadelphia, St. Paul, Macon, Charlotte, Miami, Akron, San Jose and Detroit - to ask these questions and more.

Hear what library directors from these communities say are their biggest successes and listen to insights in how they’re addressing challenges.

In these videos, library directors also share what projects they’ve developed to help better serve their communities. The Free Library of Philadelphia, for example, was able to involve itself more deeply in communities by creating hot spots in areas with limited digital access.

Libraries, today and in the future, will be much more than places for books.

“We’re seeing libraries move towards producing information, not only consuming information. We see libraries becoming centers of civic engagement,” says Raymond Santiago of the Miami-Dade Public Library System, which recently launched its YOUMedia Miami project.

From the Middle George Regional Library System, Thomas Jones tells us: “this is not your grandmother’s library.” There, libraries are training communities in digital literacy by teaching classes and are also creating partnerships to increase high school completion rates.

Click on individual links on the left of this page to hear more. The first is Siobhan Reardon.

Interview with James Crawford

At the Knight Libraries Conference, the foundation also interviewed James Crawford, engineering director, Google Books, about the Google Books Library Project, which “scans and digitally indexes as many of the world’s books as possible to make the knowledge contained in them available.” In his interview, Crawford talks about the biggest benefit this project brings to community libraries.

Click on his video link at left to view it now.