Melbourne Knowledge Week (MKW) 2017 filled the city with a packed calendar of talks, events and technology demos in the first week of May. The MKW Hub this year was the State Library Victoria. What better venue for a panel discussion on the future of libraries.
Ben Kolaitis from the City of Melbourne libraries hosted the panel, made up of Travis Sheridan (Venture Cafe St Louis), Jason Potts (RMIT Professor of Economics) and me. What happens when you ask an economist, a librarian and an entrepreneur about the future of libraries?
Well, as you might expect, not everyone imagines the same future. The discussion ranged over rocky terrain that saw the death of the book and the demise of the library, through to a bright, shiny outlook where libraries seized the zeitgeist of the creative economy and were reborn.
It was a robust discussion with the packed audience asking some thoughtful questions to round out the debate. And as a follow up to the panel, Kirby Fenwick wrote this piece on the future of libraries for the MKW site.
“Book clubs, coding workshops, poetry slams and exhibitions. Children’s story-time, writer’s groups, maker hangouts where you can access 3D printing and robotics. Digital literacy classes, live music, literary festivals and craft workshops. All these things are happening in libraries right now.”
The future of libraries is already here…