Public Libraries are Natural Town Squares

Cities from Fayetville, AR to Pendleton, OR are taking advantage of their public libraries as places to get input on important strategic initiatives.

The International City/County Management Association looks at local governments across the country that have taken advantage of the fact that people use their public libraries as a gathering spot. ICMA lists a number of such programs:

"The Iowa City Public Library partnered with the public works department and others to develop ECO Iowa City, an educational program providing residents with demonstration projects and up-to-date information on sustainability, particularly storm water management, local foods and compost, smart waste disposal, and energy efficiency. ECO Iowa City developed partnerships with other city departments, community groups, local businesses, and city council members."

Other educational and participatory efforts include hurricane preparedness, tribal services, and job training.

Full Story: Public Libraries: A New Type of Town Square

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