Public Libraries in Smart Cities and Communities Toolbox
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The Saratoga Springs Public Library
The Saratoga Spring Public Library (SSPL), as a small public library, has a 58,626 square feet building and is located on 1.92 acres of land in downtown Saratoga Springs. The library is chartered to serve the residents of the Saratoga Springs Enlarged City School District (pop. 45,663).
The City of Saratoga started to invest in a smart(er) community back in February 2016, when a Smart City Commission was created to help set Saratoga Springs on a path to becoming a smarter city. It published Smart City Roadmap 1.0, which introduces the smart city framework and lays out short- and long-term actionable strategies in five domains:1) better public services, 2) connected community, 3) education and training, 4) environmental innovation, and 5) intelligent infrastructure.
As the information hub of the community, the SSPL mainly contributes to the development of a smart(er) Saratoga Springs through first, providing citizens with free access to technology and information, and second providing guidance to inform and educate citizens about how to utilize these resources and make them better adapt to and engage in the digital world. Through this, the SSPL has contributed to the development of smart citizens, which is an important component of smart cities. Through its programs and services, the SSPL also helps improve people’s awareness and facilitates their actions in sustainable development, which is one of the goals of smart community development.
For its future development and to better contribute to a smart Saratoga Springs, the SSPL plans to keep investing in providing technology access and increasing patron’s digital literacy. In order to do so, it will update the technology when necessary and will also bring in new technology to better engage and serve the patrons. It will also expand the training offerings to better address patrons’ needs and to increase their awareness of how to take advantage of these technologies.
If you are interested, please read the full case study about the Saratoga Spring Public Library and how it is helping develop a smart community.