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COSLA Items of Interest

Special Series “Libraries Reimagined” Examines the Important and Evolving Role of the U.S. Public Library

4-part podcast available for free listening and CD purchase at

In 2019, Americans visited the library more often than they went to a movie theater or attended a sporting event. In fact, Gallup found that going to the library was – by far – the most frequent cultural activity in the United States last year. A Pew survey reports that over ninety percent of Americans view libraries as “welcoming and friendly places.”

And far from stagnant institutions of the past, libraries today are rapidly evolving. They’re carried along by the tide of technology that has transformed so much of how we receive information in modern life. Their online resources are more important now than ever. And libraries have also introduced a host of new services, from early literacy programs, to help for patrons who are living on the edge, to ‘maker spaces’, where library users create and edit original content.

The 4-part podcast “Libraries Reimagined” explores the role of these remarkable, locally-controlled institutions in virtually every community across America including new ways that libraries help to preserve our democracy by ensuring free, unfettered access to information.  Episodes include:

  • “The Information Age”
  • “The Treasury of Learning”
  • “Early Literacy”
  • “Digital Literacy”

Produced by public radio documentary-maker David Freudberg, all episodes plus links to resources are available for free on the website Humankind.  For more information, visit the site, or email the producers at .

The creation of “Libraries Reimagined” was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Humankind Program Fund, in partnership with Documentary Educational Resources.

  • 4 May 2020
  • Number of views: 215
Categories: Items of Interest

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