Just as the rhythm of narratives has changed with time, libraries have also had to adapt to the new pace of our era. If today, for example, one takes a book by Tolstoy or Proust, one will feel how time there passes slower…  As if the days and the nights of the past were made of longer, more spacious hours.

Something similar happens with traditional libraries. The mettle required to feel at ease in an enormous, silent and solemn library is becoming ever-scarcer in new generations. With a little luck, just as screens will not replace the printed book, the world’s majestic libraries will not disappear, but they are on the path to find a complement.

A good example of this is what happened a year ago in Locke High School in Los Angeles. Since students stopped visiting the library because its dusty encyclopedias could not compete with online research, they decided to transform it into the “Library of the Future.” Instead of aligned chairs and traditional tables, the room has casual seats, and speaking is no longer forbidden, therefore students can sit and work together on projects and ideas. Now, the library is alive once again and the books seem to invite reading. The project, naturally, can easily be refuted, but it is setting the foundations for other schools to do the same and to rekindle the curiosity for literature, while they simultaneously recover forgotten spaces.

Projects like the Little Free Library are also emerging —which seeks to promote flirtatious synchronicities between pedestrians and books. These show that many people are open to unexpected and casual encounters with literature, to the poetic act of taking a free book from an autonomous shelf and reading it. Today, the initiative keeps a record of their libraries around the world, and it boasts 15 thousand modules with different designs.

To give prominence back to books seems indispensable —whether this is done through a vagrant reading, homeless and in movement, or by stripping traditional reading spaces of their solemnity. The important thing is that literature has to be there, like life itself, without formalities and regardless of its format. It seems that the library of the future has no librarian.

Just as the rhythm of narratives has changed with time, libraries have also had to adapt to the new pace of our era. If today, for example, one takes a book by Tolstoy or Proust, one will feel how time there passes slower…  As if the days and the nights of the past were made of longer, more spacious hours.

Something similar happens with traditional libraries. The mettle required to feel at ease in an enormous, silent and solemn library is becoming ever-scarcer in new generations. With a little luck, just as screens will not replace the printed book, the world’s majestic libraries will not disappear, but they are on the path to find a complement.

A good example of this is what happened a year ago in Locke High School in Los Angeles. Since students stopped visiting the library because its dusty encyclopedias could not compete with online research, they decided to transform it into the “Library of the Future.” Instead of aligned chairs and traditional tables, the room has casual seats, and speaking is no longer forbidden, therefore students can sit and work together on projects and ideas. Now, the library is alive once again and the books seem to invite reading. The project, naturally, can easily be refuted, but it is setting the foundations for other schools to do the same and to rekindle the curiosity for literature, while they simultaneously recover forgotten spaces.

Projects like the Little Free Library are also emerging —which seeks to promote flirtatious synchronicities between pedestrians and books. These show that many people are open to unexpected and casual encounters with literature, to the poetic act of taking a free book from an autonomous shelf and reading it. Today, the initiative keeps a record of their libraries around the world, and it boasts 15 thousand modules with different designs.

To give prominence back to books seems indispensable —whether this is done through a vagrant reading, homeless and in movement, or by stripping traditional reading spaces of their solemnity. The important thing is that literature has to be there, like life itself, without formalities and regardless of its format. It seems that the library of the future has no librarian.

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