How Libraries Are Advancing and Inspiring Schools and Communities

The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has recently released a report, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries, that asks us “to reconsider how the library can serve communities in the 21st century.” The report focuses on the Chattanooga and Nashville public libraries for their “bold reimagining of what a library should be.”

Supported by visionary government leadership and city librarians, these libraries have launched a number of innovative programs, including:

  • Maker spaces and video production suites that leverage digital technologies to encourage creativity
  • Youth floors that give children and teens the ability to research school projects on Chromebooks, use 3-D printers, and attending coding camp where they can learn programming
  • Limitless Libraries (Nashville), which allow students to access the entire public library catalog without leaving their schools and to receive daily deliveries of library materials

To learn more about these innovative programs, visit

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