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This library without books might be the library of the future.

Library budgets might be shrinking, but digital libraries like this one are on the rise.

This library without books might be the library of the future.

Can you imagine spending a day without going online?

According to Pew Research, 84% of American adults use the internet daily. And while most people have access to the internet at home, many others rely on libraries to get connected.

That’s why “libraries without books” are slowly on the rise all over the country.

Book-less libraries, which are all about online resources, have been popping up all over the country in the past year, as many traditional libraries are forced to close their doors.


And while the lack of hardback books in the libraries might feel weird, this new model could be the best way to keep libraries open. Book-less libraries can offer e-books and a whole lot more: teaching surrounding communities tech skills and offering access to the web and to amazing digital tools too.

Take Do Space, for example, a nonprofit community center located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Photo courtesy of Do Space Library, used with permission.

Do Space is a “modern library,” offering a super unique take on the digital library idea. In Do Space, desktop workstations are equipped with software for the Adobe Creative Suite and 3D modeling. The library also has advanced equipment, like 3D and laser printers. All its services and programs are available free of charge.

When you first walk into Do Space, you won’t find any physical books.

However, you’ll find a welcome desk, a computer lab equipped with 56 computers, private conference rooms, a tech support/printing station, comfy lounge chairs, and of course, free wireless internet throughout the entire building. You might even spot a child playing with a robot operated by an iPad.

“We do have a distinct digital divide in Omaha,” Executive Director of Do Space, Rebecca Stavick said.

When she worked at an Omaha Public Library Branch, Stavick recalls people waiting for nearly an hour for a computer during peak times. “It’s really tough when you don’t have one at home and that’s your only access point,” Stavick adds.

Do Space’s services are all free and open to the public, as they believe digital resources should be available to everyone.

Although membership is required to register for events and workshops, that membership is also free.

Photo by the author, used with permission.

At Do Space, the young learner classes teach children how to build their own inventions using technology provided by the center. The space also hosts weekly meet-ups for artists, game developers, and professionals.

Photo by the author, used with permission.

As an example of their monthly programming, in June 2016, other free programs are based around digital eyewear, computer-programming for beginners, and laser-cut jewelry. Programs are designed for different age groups, from babies to seniors. The Big Littles Lab even invites children between 6 and 8 years old to participate.

Integrating digital technologies into programming might be one of the best ways to keep libraries alive.

And research backs that up too. Pew Research reports that many Americans want their libraries to embrace new technologies, particularly high-tech gadgetry.

And although Do Space’s partnership with a local community college is particularly unique, components of the center can be seen in other parts of the country. Bibliotech, in San Antonio, provides 10,000 e-books pre-uploaded onto 600 e-readers, proving you don’t have to sacrifice literature to run a book-less library.

Florida Polytechnic University opened a pristine campus library without a single book in 2014. Instead, the space offers comfortable reading chairs and tons of digital resources, as well as a "reference success" desk with staff.

And there's a preparatory school outside the Boston metro area that transitioned away from a 20,000-volume library in 2009, moving toward a learning center with no books at all.

Photo courtesy of Do Space Library, used with permission.

While Do Space is bragworthy for the Silicon Prairie, it could soon inspire other libraries to adapt to the digital age too.

And when it comes to saving our libraries, that's a pretty great place to start.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

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The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

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Since she's allergic to bees, she decided to stay put and see how badly her body would react. With some extra time on her hands, she decided to write something on her long-neglected Facebook page. It was September of 2019, and Representative Adam Schiff had just sent a letter to the Director of National Intelligence stating that the House knew there was a whistleblower complaint, the DNI wasn't handing it over, and that wasn't legal.

"I recognized, because I'm a political historian, that this was the first time that a member of Congress had found a specific law that they were accusing a specific member of the executive branch of violating," Richardson told Bill Moyers in an interview in July. "So I thought, you know, I oughta put that down, 'cause this is a really important moment. If you knew what you were looking for, it was a big moment. So I wrote it down..."

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Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

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