What does it take to turn a 119-year-old hometown public library into a 21st century learning centre that supports public education for all ages, economic development, capacity building, access to technology, the arts and community discourse? That’s the story of the Hartford Public Library.
Since coming on board in 2009, Matt Poland, CEO of Hartford Public Library, and his team has been focusing on turning that vision into reality. Poland understands the value that the library can uniquely play in the broader community. “Urban libraries need to be centers of information in a digital age,” he said. “They should serve as a major player in social equity, helping citizens acquire 21st century skills to help them lead successful lives.”
Under Poland’s leadership, the library is starting to see some success with participation in the library’s core programs up by double digits across the board. These programmes range from language and technology classes to job training and career workshops. In 2010, a record 860,000 visitors went to the downtown library and nine branch locations, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. As part of the programme to rebrand the library, a new HPLCT website to streamline its information and online services has also been launched.
Check out the new Hartford Public Library’s publicity video below: