The DC Public Library has just opened the Digital Commons at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library downtown. The Digital Commons is a truly ambitious attempt at making cutting edge technologies available to the public library patronage including…
- over 60 PCs
- 16 iMacs (4 equipped with Adobe Creative Suite)
- a 3D printer
- an area to test-drive tablets and e-readers
- smart boards
- Skype Stations
- Espresso Print-on-Demand book machine
The Digital Commons also offers a variety of educational programs that will help patrons master new technologies. You can read about these programs here.
The DC Public Libraries’ dedication to technology and information literacy highlights one of the most important institutional roles: public education. Like John Cotton Dana’s exhortation that museums must serve some educative function, the DCPL is following the trajectory of user need by recognizing the primacy of technology in the information and professional behaviors of the current patronage. By creating a communal space in which discourse and education can occur, the DCPL is proactively adapting to the world around it, metamorphosing from what it once was — a book vault — into what it will become — an open environment to meet the ever-changing patron needs.