AIA Arkansas Blog


Learning to Adapt

CALS Childrens Library

A new children’s library and learning center in Little Rock, Ark., aims to redefine the library for today’s community needs—which sometimes includes a kitchen
~By Steve Cimino

The word “library” brings to mind shelves and shelves of dusty books, with several stray computers off to the side and a tweedy, bespectacled librarian overseeing it all. In 2015, however, the majority of the world’s books are available for download on mobile devices, via Google Books, Project Gutenberg, or some other repository waving the banner of free and open access.

How can a bricks-and-mortar institution like a library survive?

A first step is to expand beyond the written word and focus on learning, which is far more basic than even books to the whole enterprise. Many libraries have already done this by creating media centers and beefing up their audio-book offerings. Secondly, libraries must serve the community in more ways than one: Find out what your neighbors feel is essential to a library experience and make those things accessible and convenient.

Read the full article in the AIA Architect by clicking here.