Introduction: More Than Just a Library
This chapter introduces the key argument of this book, which concerns the role of public libraries within the smart city. We argue that the expansion of the library into other sectors of social and cultural life is connected to the economic development strategies of the cities in which they are built. As we outline, this is becoming particularly apparent in ‘smart city’ visions, made possible by the ubiquity of networked technologies, which numerous cities are adopting to position themselves as efficient, innovative, and liveable. The chapter situates this trend within broader contemporary debates about the library’s social and cultural significance, and provides an outline of the structure of the book.
KeywordsDigitisation Public libraries Smart cities
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