+
Most Shared

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.

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.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

Keep ReadingShow less