Double Shot: Aspen Institute and Public Libraries

Posted on February 23, 2017

We love public libraries. We love the Aspen Institute. We love public libraries and writing for the Aspen Institute. Check out Kirsten Wyatt’s article on takeaways from “Role of Libraries in Advancing Community Goals.”

Shot One: Your Local Library: The Ultimate Community Engagement Center

ELGL members are anecdotally seeing that Hurst’s research is true in their communities. Citizens are paying their bills online, engaging in city discussions via social media, and receiving customized news and information in their inboxes.

An analogy is that local government digital services are like a salad bar: a virtual buffet of choices from which citizens can pick and choose how they engage based on their personal tastes and aptitudes. For some citizens, especially those who have grown up with technology, this salad bar is easy to navigate. But for others, low level digital literacy is akin to approaching that salad bar without a plate. Local libraries play a critical role in ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table in our digital world.

Read the rest of Kirsten’s article.

Shot Two: Podcast: Rethinking Public Libraries from ICMA 2016

In a special episode recorded at the ICMA Conference in Kansas City, MO, ELGL co-founder Kent Wyatt interviews Amy Garmer, Director of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries. The interview covers a wide range of topics including:


  • Working for U.S Senator Sam Nunn
  • Virginia vs. Texas
  • Mt. Rushmore of Books
  • Are libraries overlooked and underappreciated?
  • Four model libraries

Supplemental Reading

Aspen Institute report explores how libraries can nurture innovation

The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries

ICMA to Launch National Library Survey

Working Together to Close the Digital Divide

Report: Rising to the Challenge Re-envisioning Public Libraries

Freedom and Connectivity: Advancing the Freedom to Communicate in the Americas

Smart Libraries: Community Development Through Innovation and Partnerships

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