Libraries reflect the unique, cultural heartbeat of each community, whether they are progressive, cutting-edge and controversial, or traditional in services and in design. No longer are libraries simply the repository for collections of the printed word; they are environments where information is easily retrieved and senses are both stimulated and calmed. Patrons of all ages enter their library with adventure and hope to become further informed, stimulated and connected. They return when expectations are met, but more so, when they are exceeded. 
 
Established libraries are discovering the need to down-size their existing print collection and floors of shelving. Their collections are becoming more manageable with current selections and ‘hot picks’ available to patrons, as well as classics and research materials. Space is becoming available in libraries for the integration of new and expanded services.  
 
By incorporating new and more diverse collaborations and programs, libraries are blurring boundaries between information, culture and daily life. Fusion libraries function as community and academic hubs. They provide multiple services under one roof by integrating multiple functions to each campus or community. 
 
In public libraries, there is an increased awareness and desire to provide stimulating environments for the birth through pre-school age groups. The provision of sensory, experiential and interactive tools to the preschooler, accompanied by a parent or guardian, increases the potential success of the child’s early educational development. 
 
Pre-teens and teens look for communal gathering & work spaces, complete with smart boards to better prepare themselves for collaborative projects in school. Environments that are flexible, fun, and integrated with technology are magnets to the pre-teen and teen minds. 
Cafes and gift shops are now the new ‘normal’. The old formal policies of a hushed existence are replaced with the sense that the library is now the gathering space, a space to share ideas, relax with coffee and read magazines, as well as to find solitude for quiet study and research. 
 
Patrons benefit from this new ‘thinking’ which reaches beyond traditional library service, adds additional sources of information and provides additional life skills to one’s resources. “Fusion Libraries” and “Makerspaces” take the traditional library leaps and bounds beyond traditional services, adding advanced technology experimentation, and opportunities for the use of media tools, shop equipment, sewing machines, and other resources. This offers each patron the ability to experiment, expand and explore, and contribute to a culturally enriched and enlightened community.