It has been 150 years since the Detroit Public Library opened its doors as a humble public reading room, and over the years it has grown to serve Detroit with over 20 branches throughout the neighborhoods. Over the next year the library will be celebrating its anniversary, starting with a Kick-Off Celebration at the Main Branch on Woodward from 5PM to 9 PM Wednesday March 25th.
Executive Director of the Detroit Public Library Jo Anne Mondowney says the year long celebration will a participatory celebration. T
“This will be a real birthday party. You only turn 150 once in a lifetime,” says Mondowney.
Libraries are becoming more relevant in today’s internet age, according to Mondowney. People who do not have access at home come in to the library to use technology and the internet, she says.
Beyond just providing access to technology, Mondowney stresses that in today’s data rich environment it is librarians that can help people sort through this data to what is really relevant.
“We don’t only provide information, we provide inspiration,” says Mondowney.
Mondowney says libraries in most places are the most community driven institutions on offer, and reach out to the community with programs that reach all ages.
“[Libraries] are also the most kept democratic promise in this country,” says Mondowney.