Across the country, the next generation of libraries is helping to raise levels of literacy, digital expertise and entrepreneurial activity in communities, working collaboratively within local, regional and state networks.
We have a unique opportunity to transform our library and Village Hall, and create a Discovery Center for all that can:
- Embrace an expanded role as an online
- Serve as an innovation hub helping engage people around public information and civic life.
- Work in partnership with business and local government to expand the role as engines of development.
We have an opportunity to build on a reputation that is highly regarded by the public and is seen as contributing to lifelong learning and quality of life in neighborhoods. This project can help bolster the downtown. By investing in early literacy and high-impact learning opportunities, it can strengthen our families and our workforce, and help support a diverse business community.
We have an opportunity to create a multiple entry point of conversation; an opportunity to bring people together to celebrate their interests and ambitions. We have an opportunity to create a center that becomes more than a cluster of rooms among stacks of books. It becomes a participatory learning ecosystem. In short, the Discovery Center will contribute greatly to building and enhancing a healthy, robust and thriving community.
We have the opportunity to transform the library from a space that just houses information into a community workshop, a community technology center and a hub filled with the tools of the knowledge economy.
Many families and caregivers rely on the library to provide important preschool reading and learning opportunities. Many people entering the workforce rely on libraries to get them online. The Discovery Center is positioned to offer public internet access and training to individuals who would otherwise not be connected to the digital world. Local businesses are increasingly tapping into the library’s online databases to gain information that will help them stay competitive and find synergistic business opportunities. The Discovery Center is positioned to build the community’s capacity for economic activity and resilience.
The Mill Pond Learning Foundation has joined with the Village of Osceola and the Osceola Public Library to construct a joint building, housing both the Library and the Village offices. When completed, this center will be much more than a library—it will be an information café of sorts—a community gathering space. The new facility will serve as the center point of our wonderful community, with an expanded children’s area, teen and seniors spaces, a technology center, outdoor spaces, small and large meeting rooms, handicapped accessibility, and expanded collections that will provide equitable access and resources to all citizens and visitors of Osceola.
The Osceola Library has one of the higher circulations in the 50-library service cooperative of which it is a part, yet it is stretched as a facility.
In a generation where social, educational, health and economic opportunities depend on access to the Internet, lack of access means lack of opportunity. The challenge we face as a community is how to address this disparity and equalize the educational and workforce playing field.