If you've ever stopped by a Starbucks on a Wednesday night, you know the desire for alternative places to think and work percolates within us. The Chicago Public Library expanded those significantly (albeit without the java), when, late last year, it began offering free wireless access at all 79 branches.
Free wireless access might seem to you like a modest city improvement, but it matters. As you can tell from the folks hanging out at your local Starbucks, we need more places not fewer where we can fill our minds or empty them out. Libraries have long been the traditional spaces to do that, and now they're ramped up and ready to go for the 21st Century. The funny thing is we'll probably end up checking out more books.