Imagine a Brighter Future with LEGO®

What do you need to survive? I can quickly think of the basics like food, shelter, water, and air. Yet we also know that for optimal wellbeing we need things like community and belonging, support for healthy living, freedom, and the ability to choose and become who we want to be. How do the cities we live in, the structures we build and the way we move support these needs?

Kids and families explored these questions together as we endeavored to build our dream city from LEGO® bricks in a youth program recently. Participants were encouraged to think of their needs, considering how the spaces we live in support or inhibit those necessities. Our future leaders quickly got to work.

Within minutes a trend became clear: the green Lego bricks were in high demand as many engineers were intent on building more green space. Some were making tree houses, others focused on ponds and streams, and another was designing a full-size outdoor Minecraft replica. There were playgrounds, pools, and parks where citizens could cool in the water and breath some fresh air.

Some participants focused on industry. One builder assembled a construction center complete with nearly every available fan and rotor—the whole facility was to be wind-powered.

Still others focused on the simple pleasures and joys: a rainbow house, a hot tub with a fire pit, spaceships, racecars, and pyramids. Regardless of the final product, we were all imagining a future that felt exciting, safe, and possible.

The library is an ideal place for this generative thinking to happen. Within our traditional collections we can find ample documentation of what’s been done, what histories have led us to where we are today, and the choices that have shaped our present reality. This knowledge is invaluable. Yet there is a specific thrill in turning towards the future, to see young minds imagining potentials yet unthought of, and engineering realities where everyone can thrive.

What future do you want to see?