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The Future of Houston’s Libraries, the MLK Tree, and the Transtar Control Center: Houston Matters for Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Houston Public Library last week announced it’s making available thousands of audiobooks, movies and music titles for free borrowing and streaming online and on mobile devices. It’s a reminder that libraries are much different places today than they once were – or, at least, what we may have once perceived them to be. You […]

The Houston Public Library last week announced it’s making available thousands of audiobooks, movies and music titles for free borrowing and streaming online and on mobile devices. It’s a reminder that libraries are much different places today than they once were – or, at least, what we may have once perceived them to be. You know, that quiet, stuffy room filled only with the sound of scrolling microfiche displays, a squeaky pushcart in the distance, and the occasional “shush” from the librarian behind the counter.

The modern library is so much more - yes, there are still stacks of books to read. But libraries are also community centers, classrooms, Internet cafés, meeting spaces, craft workshops. Even the process of checking out books has been revolutionized in the digital age.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we’ll discuss how libraries in Houston have changed, what’s in store for the future and the challenge of being asked to serve so many missions with limited resources.

Also: Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin visits the Houston’s TranStar control center, to see how agencies work together to reduce traffic congestion, and respond quickly to accidents on Greater Houston roadways.

Plus: More than thirty years ago, Houston’s Black Heritage Society was approached by Martin Luther King Senior about finding a way to memorialize his son, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., here in Houston. They ultimately settled on a live oak tree on Martin Luther King Boulevard. And that’s the start of a long story surrounding that tree. A story we’ll hear from members of the Black Heritage Society.

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