The relevance of libraries
We’re currently celebrating National Library Week, April 14 though April 20.
We’ve heard the question, “Are libraries still relevant with the advent of the internet and e-books?”
Those who haven’t stopped by their libraries in a while are always surprised to learn about the wide array of services, programs and resources that are provided.
Some 42 million annual visits to Indiana’s libraries allow people of all ages to benefit by enjoying traditional books, e-books, computer classes, DVDs and CDs. Visitors research, read, share, learn, attend quality programs and use information for lifelong learning and leisure pursuits.
Millions of people treasure and value their community’s library to gain access to resources and programs. A large number of visitors ask library staff to help them learn how to use their e-reading devices, learn how to operate computers, learn how to better develop resumes and to apply for jobs online. Untold thousands flock to the library to ask staff about all types of software or to receive assistance in completing e-government forms.
While the recession drove more people to visit their libraries, we need to recognize that libraries were already very busy places, attracting record numbers of visits. The library is a place that is open and welcoming to all regardless of one’s socioeconomic position. It is the place where teens have discovered that the library is a cool place to go while at the same time scores of young parents engage in important childhood literacy programs.
Yes, the library is very relevant and also serves as a “living room” for democracy. Libraries further the convictions of our forefathers that a society flourishes when people have access to information. With resources that serve business owners and entrepreneurs as well as the homeschooled and people with special needs, libraries are uniquely positioned to serve as vital community centers where people connect with others, get help from information professionals, and discover new worlds. Libraries are innovative, constantly evolving and often lead the way with new technologies and services. We’ll see you at the library.
— Libby Pollard, director, Jeffersonville Township Public Library