Library budgets and librarians have been cut drastically across the country, yet we know through a decade of studies that they have a significant improvement on student learning and achievement. A think tank on libraries of the future that also provides seed money for renovating libraries, infusing technology and good design into them, is needed. Much like the Robin Hood foundation is doing in New York City, the best minds in design and libraries can reinvigorate aging libraries so they becomes a significant learning hub in the school. A website that functions as a "think tank" can gather the ideas, research, and momentum to help this happen. The think tank could help develop more free web 2.0 tools that help librarians create a virtual space as well, that is 24/7, through the use of technology to support learning. And funding is needed to put that technology and new design practices into our current libraries to create learning hubs or "learning commons" as David Loertscher terms them. The upcoming conference Re-ImaginEd is a model for what could be done.
Idea No. 23