In late 2017, MIT Media Lab implemented a new project called the Public Library Innovation Exchange that pairs librarians with researchers to create innovative, unique, tech-based learning experiences at public libraries around the country. One partnership involves the Akron Summit Public Library in Akron, Ohio, where they developed a food computer project to educate people about technology and nutrition and share information with farmers. Another partnership in Minnesota focuses on data literacy, and yet another connects a library in Massachusetts with one in North Carolina to develop projects around the Space Exploration Initiative.

With this new initiative gaining steam and digital platforms ever advancing, what will the future of public libraries look like? What innovative educational experiences do you think are best suited for libraries? Join the ongoing discussion on Vialogues.

Excerpts from the discussion

@02:30 Thomas Anderson: The future of the "Library" should be grounded in the same principles that motivated Andrew Carnegie to establish over 1,600 libraries in the United States. Learn more from NPR.

@02:30 Rebecca Sullivan: A cool avenue for libraries to explore is lending less-commonly used items such as garden tools and sewing machines. My hometown public library in Medfield, MA has a collection of unusual items that residents might rarely use or want to try before buying such as stud finders, ukuleles and a GoPro. Sharing tools, games, and appliances can be a way to promote community engagement while extending the library's reach.