Next City features Dayton libraries


Vision of sustainable, equitable cities captured in Dayton Metro Library’s renovation

This week an in-depth feature on Dayton Metro Library graced the landing page of Next City’s website. Dayton, Ohio, located in a cradle of Midwest conservatism, “defies expectations” with its progressive values including support for their public library system. A $187 million bond – passed in the middle of the Great Recession – enabled DML to enact its vision of library services and celebrate leading practices and local community values. Next City interviewed Library leaders, local artists, and Group 4  to capture a comprehensive story of community listening and empowerment made possible through  architecture.

Highlights include the discussion of pioneering for American libraries as active community centers – including opportunity spaces (“flexible galleries and lab spaces”), future-proofing, and hosting everything “from family reunions to wedding receptions; theater to video production; virtual reality to cooking; and of course, reading, writing, and research.” Public libraries, argues Group 4 principal David Schnee, are really “in the business of community.” Meanwhile, DML Executive Director Tim Kambitsch draws connections between the library’s services and the perception of the city as helping its community achieve their aspirations.

Expectation defying indeed!

Take a moment to read the feature at Next City for more on the future of civic spaces and public services.