I just read (much too quickly) the Aspen Institute's report "Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries" and wow, is it fantastic!
The paper states that this is a time of "great opportunity" for communities and institutions who are willing to "champion new thinking and nurture new relationships" and that it is a "time of particular opportunity for public libraries with their unique stature as trusted community hubs and repositories of knowledge and information."
The paper provides a vision for libraries that is based on an "emerging model of networked libraries that promote economies of scale and broadens the library's resource reach while preserving its local presence."
In this vision, the key assets of the library are people, place and platform; and, the platform "provides opportunities for individuals and the community to gain access to a variety of tools and resources with which to discover and create new knowledge."
There are very practical suggestions which support the work I do including the importance of resource-sharing and collaborations across libraries. The report strongly states that we must move away from the "go it alone" approach, which, and this is partly my interpretation, we are too locked into because of the the ILS (integrated library system) model.