Friday, March 19, 2010

Impress Your Professor: Virtual Supermarkets

We often talk here about emerging technologies that a few, fortunate libraries are able to take advantage of, but even the technology we have now can still give libraries the power to uplift entire communities.

Entire neighborhoods of East and West Baltimore are considered "food deserts" because grocery stores in these areas have left town, and there are even precious few restaurtants save the worst sort of fast food. This leaves poorer residents who don't have cars without access to nutritious food options.

Thus the Enoch Pratt Free Library has teamed up with the city Health Department in the "Virtual Supermarket Project." Laptops are provided at the library where residents can order groceries, which are then delivered the next day to two branch libraries for pick-up.

This takes the phrase "third place" to a whole new meaning. What other vital services might library technology provide to a library's community that we're just not seeing?

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