Libraries have been a widely discussed topic in community based conversations since talk of cuts back in mid 2010. I have spent a bit of time working with and in libraries realising its importance to the community. My previous experience of seeing how a library worked was working in a higher education institutes learning resource centre, but this was aimed at the students not the public like a local library and working in a local library as a temporary job for a few weeks. The events hosted, served the community well, such as computer classes, children’s activities, hosting school trips, book clubs, delivering books to its members. It provides books, DVDs and computer and internet (some offer free WiFi) access. Depending on the size of the library I think they cater for the demographics of the area and more.
Looking at this from a direct users perspective I would say its very useful to point members of the community to libraries as well as other local services which promotes social inclusion with the range of activities which some offer. They seem in general a value for money service but there maybe some which are not value for money and this can sometimes be down to the staff working in the library and the level of service or environmental aspects (lighting and air quality).
The other thing which is important, it is a hub, with the WiFi service for freelance workers, those working from home and those studying to use the library rather than go to a coffee shop as you can access books, free WiFi and for school children and parents, if you are working or studying for a day and want to keep your children occupied there are books to access, as well as meeting rooms at an affordable price.
That said, ultimately I have learned that libraries can be, if done the right way, a community resource hub.