media release

SFU Public Square asks: “What is the future of libraries?”

August 17, 2012

Baharak Yousefi, Fraser Library (SFU Surrey), 778.782.7417,
Charles Eckman, SFU Library Services, 778.782.3265,
Janet Webber, SFU Public Square, 778.782.9479,

Libraries have long served as knowledge hubs, where communities can freely share and borrow information, either in physical or digital form. But the role of a traditional library is changing, and SFU Public Square, in partnership with the Vancouver Foundation, is asking community members to submit their dream project on the future of libraries.

As part of the inaugural SFU Public Square community summit Alone Together: Connecting in the City, members of the public can submit their ideas, with the top-ten earning the opportunity to pitch their best concept at ‘Big Ideas for Libraries in Communities’ to a panel of representatives from the Vancouver Foundation, the British Columbia Library Association, the SFU Library, the Vancouver Public Library, and Public Library Interlink.

“We want to see creative, outside the box ideas,” says Janet Webber, program manager for SFU Public Square. “We don’t want people to be hung up on the economics or the traditional view of a library, we want to see new approaches to how libraries can go about supporting community connectivity.”

SFU Public Square chose the theme for Alone Together based on recent research conducted by the Vancouver Foundation that highlighted the issue of isolation and disconnection in the urban environment. The weeklong summit is expected to attract over 10,000 participants, with a goal of strengthening engagement across community and cultural divides.

The final ten presentations will take place September 19, at SFU’s Vancouver campus. The deadline for submissions is August 29, at 12 p.m.

Details for submissions are available at:

Those interested in watching the final presentations can register here:


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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