Futurist Thomas Frey said a library should be a forum for exchange of ideas.
Libraries of the future could become community go-to places where you can hire a car, cut out a neat-fitting dress on a 3D printer, show a movie that you made, or thrive in the company of others.
Colorado-based Thomas Frey, self-titled Architect of the Future, told the Library and Information Association conference in Auckland that libraries are going through a remarkable rebirth, with big cities investing heavily in central multi-story glass libraries as the crown jewel of the community.
But the question, he said, was how could they continue to fit in to the lives of the people they served?
Mr Frey, a keynote speaker, said a possibility was loaning out things apart from books. In the US, a library had started lending flying drones and a few others put in 3D printers. “So it’s not just a place where you go to consume books – it’s a place you go to produce things.”
Mr Frey said a library should be a forum for exchange of ideas.
Future stars could come to use studios for recording and editing their videos or music.
Libraries could obtain newly invented products for community use through winning corporate sponsorship.
And firms would donate products to libraries to create consumer awareness.