A Message from the Editor

America’s public libraries are on a mission to maintain relevance in contemporary society. Based on their role as community gathering places, libraries want to become the “third place” that people visit when not at work/school or at home.

By offering diverse all-ages programming, libraries are better serving the needs of more individuals within their communities. Libraries are transforming and now permit snacks and beverages in designated social areas. Free internet access, fireplace lounging, film screenings, technology labs, coding workshops, childhood literacy programs, assistance for veterans and entrepreneurs, aid for job searches, physical exercise options, private study and group meeting rooms, and so much more is offered. State authors read their works and local artists exhibit. Libraries can make life better for you and me.

Since 2015, Celebrate Libraries® has been exploring and interpreting this transformation through our videos and podcasts. Wisconsin library directors in Brown, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, Rock, Dane and La Crosse counties have provided tours of their buildings and sat for recorded interviews.

For example, learn about Beloit Public Library’s new Blender Cafe´, a joint project of Kerry Ingredients & Flavours, the library, and the School District of Beloit. Listen to founders of Proto GB a well-stocked makerspace nonprofit and one of several organizations part of a small business incubator at Brown County Central Library in Green Bay. Or view images from Middleton Public Library’s contribution to the Unity Project.

Lastly, we would like to acknowledge the support of those businesses and organizations whose generosity allows us to promote the essential programs and services provided by public libraries. Please visit their Websites.