Libraries aren't what they used to be. They were quiet, hushed places, sometimes a refuge from the rain or the heat of summer. They had that distinct smell associated with old books, as well as that crisp new book smell. Now the local state or municipal public library has a very different feel. It's a centre of activities, even events: there can be classes on things like how to sell on eBay. So what is happening to our libraries? Is it a good thing? Library usage is increasing across Australia. In a national study over five years, 177 million items were lent to the almost 10 million members of Australia's public libraries. And internet use at libraries is also on the rise. So what does this say about the future library, what will it look like? Will we need those long aisles of books and queues at the counter?