BLOG: Notes and Dreams for The 21st Century Library

A blog of dreams and ideas by Beth Gourley, Director of Libraries at Interlochen Center for the Arts and a member of the new Interlochen Public Library campaign cabinet. Share your library dreams with Beth at

The New Library of Birmingham, England – A People’s Palace

A video featuring patrons of the new library in Birmingham, England captures the kind of excitement I’m looking forward to when we cut the ribbon and open the new Interlochen Public Library.

Watch the video and you’ll find this is a library where patrons are proud of it, impressed by it, and want to brag about it.

They think it is approachable, stimulating, modern and housed with helpful people.

They describe their library as…
…a place to work
…a place to imagine
…a place to make connections
…a place to be comfortable
…a place to borrow books
…a place to hang out
…a place to create

It is a place available to every type of person. The library provides an environment that encourages people to question, think, reflect and look at new ideas for the first time and old ideas in a new way.

It’s a place that inspires you to learn.
It’s a place to study.
It’s a place people look forward to visiting and getting to know.
It’s a place that uses its resources to help patrons create.
And it’s a place that has easy access for everyone.

While the new Interlochen Public Library may not be as grand as the one in Birmingham, England, it can provide all of these assets to our community.

This is the kind of library I want. What about you?