Libraries & technology at the heart of places

16th May 2016 Posted by: Cassie Robinson

On Saturday we were at Hack the Library with FutureGov and West Sussex County Council. We gave a talk at the start based on the work we’d done last year with the Libraries Taskforce, sharing with the group of people at the hack some of the ways libraries all around the world are adapting to how we live our lives now and the change that technology has brought.

It is great to see the Council bringing the local community together with researchers and designers to shape how their local library can build on and adapt from what it currently does.

At Tech For Good Global, we believe that libraries are a key part of our local and City infrastructure. They are spaces that can help take community health innovations to scale for example. They are one of the few places left where our identity is still that of a citizen rather than a consumer. For that reason, they are spaces that really are for everyone. They balance catering for needs that could be considered basic human rights (acting as safe places for homeless and hostel sleepers, supporting those on Job Seekers Allowance find new work, access to knowledge and digital literacy) with services and spaces that enable learning, creativity and culture to thrive.

We want to keep libraries in the spotlight. We see them as a natural home for public interest technologies to be designed and developed, for giving everyone opportunity to develop digital skills and access to technology, for Librarians to become skilled in teaching their local communities about privacy rights and law, and privacy-protecting technology tools to help safeguard digital freedoms.

To start this work we spoke with Andrew Rasiej, a civic and social entrepreneur, Founder of Personal Democracy Media and Civic Hall. who talks of libraries being the first and best example of the sharing economy. We also spoke with Bryan Boyer, one of the creators of Librariness, a NYC project to re-imagine how a whole network of libraries across the City of NYC could build a new collective offer. 

On July 11th we will be hosting a #techforgood event about Libraries in London. We are excited to have Alison Macrina, founder of the Library Freedom Project joining us as a speaker, all the way from the US, alongside other speakers, soon to be announced.

Quote

" The most underutilised resource in the digital age." Andrew Rasiej, Co-Founder of Civic Hall.

Links

Personal Democracy Media

Civic Hall

Librariness

Library Freedom Project

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