In Omaha, Nebraska, one of the busiest corners features a rather plain squarish cement building. Wrapping two sides of the building are LED billboards advertising high-tech equipment and classes. What many first thought was an electronics outlet, actually turned out to be a technology library which provides free access to premium software generally used by artists and businesses loaded on powerful PCs. There are are also laser cutters and 3-D printers. This is Do Space.
For some people, this is exactly what they are looking for, but didn’t know they were looking for. There are rows and rows of books and heavy compendiums here. Instead, each level is jam packed with free access high-end technology for the public to use. Using the $7 million donation from Heritage Services, a group of Omaha philanthropists, Director Rebecca Stavick says that the library is the renovation of a Borders book store and they helped fund the computers, internet and 3D printers in the place.
For the Director, this building seems like the logical evolutionary step from more traditional libraries. Computers, like books, are tools meant to aid in our perpetual quest for knowledge. This new vision of technology, and that too high end technology, being available to the masses has everyone excited. In fact, with the amount of computing power in the building, many entrepreneurs have been using it as their launch pad and they are okay with that. While the traditional office goer remains cooed up in their own space, Do Space allows people to interact, hence allowing fresh feedback, ideas and concepts to flow freely.
The Do Space is one-of-a-kind at the moment however other public libraries are looking into investing in more technology and expanding their options because the density and scope of technology are what will be propelling the future.