More Than Just Books

CTG researcher discusses the myriad offerings found in public libraries

Students study at computers in Dewey Library on the Downtown Campus. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 4, 2019) — Next week is National Libraries Week, a time to highlight the importance of literacy and the benefits of free public libraries in society. The research institute CTG UAlbany notes that a local library is much more than books in a feature story published April 1 in The Conversation, an online journal of news and opinion by academics.

In 7 unexpected things that libraries offer besides books, Mila Gasco-Hernandez notes that libraries offer workshops about robots, 3D printers, social media training, and collections of plant and flower seeds, power tools, board games, American Girl Dolls, thermal cameras, LED Bulbs, and gardening equipment to go along with traditional books and periodicals.

Thus far the piece has been featured in:

It has also garnered hundreds of social media interactions.


Mila Gasco-Hernandez 

Gasco-Hernandez is a Research Associate Professor in the Public Administration and Policy Department within the Rockefeller College of Public Administration and Policy. She is also the Associate Research Director at the research institute that works with governments worldwide transforming public services through innovations in technology, policy and management.

The story is based on preliminary research conducted by Gasco-Hernandez and a team of researchers from CTG UAlbany.

The three-year research project — Enabling Smart, Inclusive, and Connected Communities: The Role of Public Libraries — is funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and focuses on understanding how public libraries, both urban and rural, help make communities smarter by allowing citizens to learn, communicate, and engage with current and emerging technologies. 

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