There is increasing evidence of a disaffection with the digital realm and a renewed interest in physical, tangible objects and face-to-face experiences. Studies reveal loneliness and depression resulting from too much interaction with digital devices. Over the last few decades, there has been a steady loss of social capital in communities – bonds formed when community members share meaningful, real-time experiences together.
Libraries can address this loss as hubs of activities that engage our five senses and bring people together physically for the kind human interaction that virtual connections and digital interfaces miss. Libraries already offer active learning programs with hands-on, participatory activities. But often the emphasis is more on the technologies and individual learning goals and less on the social connection that fosters collective well-being. This session will focus on the social possibilities, exploring ways to intentionally create social capital and amplify people's ties to each other and their community.
Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC, USA
Thursday, 13 September, 11:00 am
Library (AGB), Salon
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