Our Last IMLS Project

Our Last imls Project

The project “Enabling Smart, Inclusive, and Connected Communities: The Role of Public Libraries” (2017-2021) was implemented in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA)’s Center for the Future of Libraries with the aim of better understanding how public libraries can advance their role as community anchors in smart city initiatives by contributing to the community’s understanding of and participation in such initiatives. The primary audience of this research project included public libraries, local governments, community groups, and researchers currently involved in or interested in information and technology to make their communities, smarter, more inclusive, and better connected. The project addressed two specific research questions:

  1. To what extend do public libraries, building on their expertise, knowledge, and background, contribute to communities’ understanding of and participation in smart city initiatives?
  2. What are the existing and potential benefits, costs, risks, challenges, and unintended consequences for public libraries increasing their involvement in their communities’ smart city initiatives?

The first button includes additional information about the project, press releases, and publications and additional deliverables. The second button access the Public Libraries in Smart Cities and Communities Toolbox, a set of resources for public libraries that want to strengthen their role in developing a smart city/community.