The Future Foyles workshop held on Monday brought together publishing, retail, and literacy professionals seeking a vision for London’s next great flagship bookstore – you’ll see me quoted in The Bookseller’s report of the event - and finding much food for thought from a wider community outreach perspective.
Proposals included integration of digital and print media, premium membership services like bibliotherapy, and a vision of the bookstore as a curated cultural destination – a temple to literature in the heart of a reinvigorated Bookseller’s District. All of these ideas resonate with the challenges facing 21st century libraries, and indeed all spaces that serve the arts and humanities.
For a bookstore, the future might involve turning a retail space into a cultural venue for everyone with a passion for reading and writing; a library may become a hub for facilitating knowledge creation and access to culture, as R. David Lankes has suggested in the US; in universities, with an increasing vogue for online delivery of courses and even lectures, the physical campus will need to demonstrate its relevance as a home for compelling, engaging activities that can’t be replicated electronically.
Read more from ‘Respect, innovation, and cheeky pancakes’ at http://matthewfinch.me/2013/02/13/respect-innovation-and-cheeky-pancakes-thoughts-on-the-future-of-bookstores-and-libraries/