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Libraries have spent years reinventing themselves. Will they have to do it again?

Marketplace: “Over the past 15 years, public libraries across the country have been rethinking their role as a public space. They’ve evolved from just a place to check out books into community hubs, and the transformation has come with a lot of new initiatives and programs. The Boston Public Library, for example, has been working on developing more affordable housing to sit atop some of its branches. The Austin Public Library offers citizenship courses for immigrants and hosts naturalization ceremonies. And the Bristol Public Library in Indiana, like many others, allows patrons to check out baking equipment to use at home. A lot of these new changes mean that people spend more time in libraries. And that, right now, poses a problem for libraries as they begin to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked with Jennifer Pearson, director of the Marshall County Library in Tennessee and president of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries about how her library, and libraries across the country, are continuing to adapt and serve the needs of their patrons…”

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