Why Build A New Library In The Digital Age?

The Internet encourages, not replaces, library use. Every time more Internet terminals are added, the use of everything else goes UP – more books checked out, more browsing, more magazines read, more reference questions, more program attendance. 

Our community needs a new library in the digital age.

The children’s storytime – featuring real live people from our own community – is the single most potent strategy for sowing literacy in our community. Study after study show that early childhood literacy is a predictor of school achievement and future success. Fundamental cognitive and language skills are developed before children reach school age. Summer reading programs help to assure language and reading skills do not diminish over the summer months.

The library is an anchor store and traffic generator. Libraries pull a cross-section of the public, all ages, all day long, through our doors. Studies show significant economic benefits to communities with modern, exciting libraries.

Library buildings are a bridge over the digital divide. Libraries are about access, and our record of allowing digitally disadvantaged people – poor, young, elderly, etc. – to use public technology to bootstrap themselves out of technological ghettos is real. Further, a library offers the expertise of trained library personnel who can help patrons interpret and qualify information in internet searches.

Libraries foster community through providing meeting space and lifelong learning opportunities. Libraries serve the role of common, safe and neutral ground. Libraries manifest and reinforce community values – a tangible sign of a community’s commitment to individual inquiry, a safety net for the young and old, a secular sanctuary for social contact or for private pondering.

A new library can be the center of Aberdeen’s workforce development. Library resources can create strong ties to area businesses by offering basic computer knowledge, language learning assistance, etc. to strengthen the workforce. A new library can also offer support to small business by stocking tools for starting a new business specific to the region, providing specific support for micro- businesses (typically in home), computer/online access, and networking.

In the workforce recruitment game, the community with the right mix of jobs, amenities and quality of life, wins.

Libraries do matter

Google can’t help us all the time…

If you were airdropped, blindfolded, into a strange town and given nothing but a bus ticket, to where would you ride that bus? You might be surprised to learn that there’s only one good answer, and that’s the public library. The library is the public living room, and if ever you are stripped of everything private—money, friends and orientation—you can go there and become a human again.

Of course, you don’t have to be homeless to use a library, but that’s the point. You don’t have to be anyone in particular to go inside and stay as long as you want, sit in its armchairs, read the news, write your dissertation, charge your phone, use the bathroom, check your email, find the address of a hotel or homeless shelter. Of all the institutions we have, both…Read more

Are libraries a thing of the past?

When people think that libraries are a thing of the past…

Many predict that the digital age will wipe public bookshelves clean, and permanently end the centuries-old era of libraries. As libraries’ relevance comes into question, librarians face an existential crisis at a time when students need them the most. Despite their perceived obsolescence in the digital age, both libraries and librarians are irreplaceable for many reasons. Nearly twenty reasons, in fact. We’ve listed them here:

1. Not Everything is Available on the Internet: The amazing amount of useful information on the web has, for some, engendered the false assumption everything can be found online. It’s simply not true. Google Books recognizes this. That’s why…Read more

An escape from reality

The library is the perfect place to go…

Younger Americans can hardly imagine a time when you had to visit a library to research the population of Phoenix in 1980. Google now does that in seconds.

Entire books are downloaded to tablets in minutes. Classics from “Moby Dick” to Shakespeare’s tragedies come virtually free. A project called the Digital Public Library of America now seeks to…Read more

Libraries hold the key

Libraries help more people then you think…

♦ Libraries are portals to all of the world’s knowledge. And librarians make sure that knowledge continues to be recorded and saved for the future, even as information-storage devices and formats change.

♦ The information kept in libraries helps everyday people start their own small businesses, which helps grow the economy.

♦ If libraries are not essential, then why…Read more

Libraries are more then just books

Libraries are a safe haven…

Libraries have played an important role in this country, helping generations of immigrants, young people, job seekers and readers to learn, stay connected and get ahead in life. Offering access to free books, newspapers and, later, computers, they opened up a world of knowledge and ideas for millions of people. But now, with information literally at our fingertips on smartphones and tablets, are libraries still important?

Do we still need libraries?…Read more

We are still using the library

People of all ages are still going to the library…

LOS ANGELES — Think teens and 20-somethings who are used to looking up everything on smartphones have little use for the public library?

Think again.

People in their 20s and older teens are just as likely as older Americans to have visited a public library in the last year — and about as likely to have taken out books or browsed the shelves once they got there, a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds. Nearly two out of three said they had a library card.

Young people do use libraries differently: They are nearly twice…Read more

Younger generation returning to the library

Who ever though that libraries were going out of style was wrong…

Younger Americans—those ages 16-29—exhibit a fascinating mix of habits and preferences when it comes to reading, libraries, and technology. Almost all Americans under age 30 are online, and they are more likely than older patrons to use libraries’ computer and internet connections; however, they are also still closely bound to print, as three-quarters (75%) of younger Americans say they have read at least one book in print in the past year, compared with 64% of adults ages 30 and older.

Similarly, younger Americans’ library usage reflect a blend of traditional and technological services. Americans under age 30 are just as likely as older adults to visit the library, and once there they borrow print books and browse the shelves at similar rates. Large majorities of those under age 30 say…Read more 


Library of the future

Libraries sure have changed since our parents started using them…

The Columbus Metropolitan Library recently asked its Facebook followers to give them ten words: five to describe the library of their youth and five to describe the library of the future, 20 years from now. Here are the word clouds they assembled from the results, starting with the libraries of their youth:

If you’re beyond your teenage years, I bet this retrospective word cloud will make sense to you. Now, how about this one, describing libraries of the future:

Surprised? Unless you’ve spent a fair amount of time in libraries recently, you probably are. But it turns out that the library enthusiasts from Columbus are illustrating a lot of what is happening in their hometown library system and in many other libraries around the country, right now.

I visited libraries recently in downtown…Read more

Throwing away the library

When a community comes together for the greater good of the library…

San Francisco ABC channel 7 News covers the story…

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) — An East Bay library defended its decision to throw away 100,000 books in the trash. Angry residents showed up at a special meeting Monday night to express their outrage over this incident.

A biography on Willie Mays was one of the books pulled out of a library dumpster. The book is only four years old.

The Alameda County library director says…Read more