When I start yammering about Slow Library ideas, the first connection I make is to the Slow Food movement. However, that can get confusing since shopping, cooking and eating aren't like listening, browsing and reading... or are they?
We're getting to the point where every public library has internet access and some variety of (ususally PC) computers. In my state, Vermont, they also have access to mostly the same databases. This is all great. However, once you get to the point where most library patrons in most places have at least nominal access to the same materials, what makes your library, the one in your town, yours?
Where I live this is particularly important because each library is funded by the town or towns that it serves. The librarian, more often than not, goes to the town meeting to explain what she did with last year's money and to ask for next year's money. If you're doing that, you better have good explanations. One of my favorite things about new technology, particularly open source and 2.0-ish shiny widgets is the way they allow people without access to servers and programmers and high end tools, the ability to make something useful and bring it back to their communities.
So Flickr helps the librarian make a slideshow. Blogger helps the library make a web page. Meebo helps the librarian IM with patrons. The thing that is great about all of these tools isn't just their read-write-webbiness or their open-APIs or their slick 16 point headline text and rounded corners. The thing that's great about them is that a library with a $23,000 budget can use them to help them do their jobs, their existing jobs and maybe some new ones, better.
Once we get to the point where internet access isn't so shiny and everyone gets the idea that we're all part of this giant global community, they're still going to want a place to read a magazine, or play RuneScape, or download an audiobook, or find an old picture of their house, or just talk to someone about the weather. The more we can use the Web to go out and get things, the more it's important that we have a place to bring them back TO.