Aside from an expansive collection and knowledgeable staff, one of the most valuable tools a library can give its community is a rich selection of programming. Public library programs often include community enrichment activities such as children's story time, resume building workshops, and ESL courses for adults. Yet many libraries are reaching out even further to provide their community with programming unique to their own needs and desires.
Cory Doctorow's 2013 article Libraries, Hackspaces and E-waste: how libraries can be the hub of a young maker revolution 1) explores the importance of one of these expansions of programming:
But there's another gang of information-literate people out there, a gang who are a natural ally of libraries and librarians: the maker movement. Clustered in co-operative workshops called "makerspaces" or "hack(er)spaces," makers build physical stuff. They make robots, flying drones, 3D printers (and 3D printed stuff), jewelry, tools, printing presses, clothes, medieval armor... Whatever takes their fancy. Making in the 21st century has moved out of the individual workshop and gone networked. Today's tinkerer work in vast, distributed communities where information sharing is the norm, where the ethics and practices of the free/open source software movement has gone physical.
As a library's community grows and changes, so to does the library. The incorporation of hackerspaces is not unusual. Many libraries already feature private rooms that can be booked in advance for everything from knitting groups to games of Dungeons and Dragons.
While it may seem that one of the most important resources a library can provide to its community are the physical media often found there, the elements of intangible information that exist are just as important. Through creative programming, librarians can create countless ways for their communities to engage in education in all forms.
This provision serves to not only create a more knowledgeable community, but to create a more tight-knit community - rich in experience, communication, and sharing.