Reimaging Public Libraries For the Digital Age

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Patrons at the Boston Public Library.
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Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library (BPL) was a pioneer in library services in the United States. Fast forward to present day, and patrons at the Central Library in Copley Square are enjoying the benefits of a $78 million renovation of the library’s Johnson building.

The renovation was completed last summer, and it has transformed the space and brought with it a whole host of new and exciting state of the art services for visitors.

What makes for an outstanding public library in the 21st century? David Leonard, the president of the Boston Public Library, says BPL has embraced the challenges that many libraries are facing in the digital age.

John Palfrey, the founding chairman of the Digital Public Library of America, which is based at the Boston Public Library, discusses the role of libraries as both physical and digital spaces. Palfrey is the author of a number of books including: "BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google." He is currently head of school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.