account, look up books and other library material, search catalogs of
other libraries, reserve books, and access databases on just about any
subject you can think of. Don't forget to check out the list
of library events. There is always something exciting at the library
for all ages.
free to look
around and browse to your heart's content. After all, that is what the
library is for.
Librarians Totally Obsolete? Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians Are
Still Extremely Important
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.
Reasons Number 7 to 9:
7. Mobile Devices are Not the End of Books or Libraries: Predictions of
the "end of the book" are a predictable response to digitization and
other technologies, and the crystal ball of some in the pro-paper crowd
seems to also reveal a concomitant crumbling of civilization. One of
the latest dark threats to paper is e-books downloadable to mobile
But e-books are not an all-consuming transition for readers. Radio
lives on despite TV, film is still in high demand despite video, people
still talk on the telephone despite email. People who like paper books
will continue to read paper books even if mobile downloads prompt the
majority of publishers to release e-books instead of paper. After all,
an immense backlog of printed books will still be accessible to
readers. The presence of the digital library will continue to be
extremely important role for college students in their research,
whether it's paper or electronically based.
8. Library Attendance Isn't Falling, It's Just More Virtual: With
approximately 50,000 visitors a year, attendance at the American
History Archives at Wisconsin Historical Society has dropped 40% since
1987. This statistic, when set alone, may prove sufficient for anybody
casually predicting the Collapse of the Library. But it is only half
the story. The archives have also been digitized and placed online.
Every year the library receives 85,000 unique online visitors. The
number of schools offering online degrees is constantly on the rise as
well. Many of these schools are improving their virtual libraries by
9. Physical Libraries are Adapting to Cultural Change: Anyone
subscribing to the theories of 20th century thinker Marshall McLuhan
might say that along with changed life patterns brought on by
electronic technology, knowledge that was once encased in books and
compartmentalized by subject area is now being liberally disseminated
in an explosion of democracy, rendering obsolete the austerity of the
lonely, echoing corridors of the Library. Interestingly McLuhan, who
died in 1980, once even said: "the future of the book is the blurb."
Indeed, this cultural change predates widespread use of the internet.
For decades society has been seeking a more holistic understanding of
the world, and increased access to information. The search for new
methods of organizing educational structures (including libraries) has
long been active. And while libraries might not be on many peoples'
"top ten cutting edge list", they have been adapting.
Washington State University director of libraries Virginia Steel, for
example, is a proponent of maximizing the social and interactive nature
of physical library space. Group study, art exhibits, food and coffee,
talking, not whispering; this is the new library. It's not obsolete,
it's just changing.