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.