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.
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People often say that the more flawed books are both the most captivating and readable. It comes from the principle that humans are flawed and while a perfectly written set of characters who have no personal defects may be fun to read, they are not relatable. In order to get an audience emotionally invested in a book, they have to be relatable, loveable, make mistakes and have the reader yelling “No, don’t do it!” at the pages and shedding tears over the mistakes of fictional characters.
These statements are all met for the debut novel by Ed Tarkington titled Only Love Can Break Your Heart. This story within a story is a Southern gothic coming of age tale turned mystery set in oodles of nostalgia and charm. Our narrator takes form of an 8-year old boy named Rocky Askew, who is right in the middle of a social storm involving his family and dark forces during the 70’s and 80’s.
There are frequent, rather formulaic mishaps followed by frequently used stock characters that turn up in the story and even more frequent references to music. In fact sometimes, there’s so much “muchness” that the reader will not know why it is going on. Though in his defense, many debuts are flawed and the virtues of the book far outweigh them. Tarkington’s flow of verse is a beauty to behold and during the later parts of the book, the now adult Rocky helps tie together many of the later events and earlier ones with experience but also the nostalgia that runs deep throughout the book.
One of the most exemplary parts of the novel is the fact that though it is a mystery novel, in contrast to the days of his hormone-driven youth, Rocky’s moral compass as an adult remains steadfast. His trust in the other characters and big heartedness through the gory double homicide that happens during the latter part of the book would have been suspicious in the hands of another writer. Though considered a mystery, to tack on such a simple term to it is not as simply done.