Public Libraries

Public libraries form a critical foundation of the world’s social infrastructure. With over 380,000 around the world, they provide spaces and services that welcome all members of society, foster personal exploration and growth, and uplift communities. This research aims to generate new insights and approaches for strengthening the public library’s position as an essential actor in building informed societies and driving community development. Our focus is on digital technologies and opportunities for transformative changes within the library sector. 

We explore such questions as:

  • How can libraries support cultivating, producing, and sustaining local knowledge?
  • How can libraries enhance their role as platforms for civic engagement to more proactively address issues of community, national, and global concern?
  • How can libraries leverage open data ecosystems, both for developing library services and programs, and for assisting patrons access and use open data?
  • How can libraries counter the growing threat of mis/disinformation?
  • What do public library programs and services look like in a post-Covid world? 


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided TASCHA with a “legacy” grant to support critical public library research that would carry forward the foundation’s vision after it sunsetted the Global Libraries program in 2017. This grant allows TASCHA to respond quickly to emerging issues (such as the Covid crisis) and leverage our research base when seeking research funding for new projects. 


Featured Outputs

People & Organizations

  • Research Team