Thursday, January 12, 2017

Public Libraries: How Relevant Are They? :: Public Libraries Online

Public Libraries: How Relevant Are They?
Public Libraries Online: 1.04.2017 by Gretchen Kaser

A recent episode of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Kathleen Dunn Show [1] discussed the relevancy of public libraries in today’s world. Through interviews with Wisconsin Library Directors Paula Kiley and Kelly Krieg-Sigman, Dunn examined how libraries are being used by their communities and how this has changed over time.

Unsurprisingly, both librarians discussed the prevalence of downloading and streaming collections, such as Overdrive and Hoopla. Many users, they stated, rely solely on digital borrowing without ever physically visiting the library. Listeners called into the show excitedly touting these services and praising their ease for those with an on-the-go lifestyle.

During this conversation, Dunn indicated she was unaware libraries offered this service. Once aware of it, her reaction was positive. This response does not particularly surprise me, as many members of our community are unaware of our e-offerings, despite my library’s marketing efforts.

Another takeaway was that while circulation of physical items may be dropping, more people are visiting the library for programs. The importance of family library programs was discussed, as well as the role of the library as a community center.  READ MORE @  LISTEN

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