OMG, have you been to a library lately? What is this nonsense about reading being dead? Libraries are huge, newer, and offer SO many services these days; they are way beyond a normal repository for books. I’ve always enjoyed using libraries, but a quick trip to my local neighborhood depository discovered it’s no simple store of books anymore.
Beyond books of information and education–a storage of knowledge–libraries now have information specialists. Find the answer to any question–but not necessarily in books. Now the world wide web is at your service with internet access provided.
There are magazines, eBooks, audiobooks, music, movies and TV. There are classes from computer use to knitting, social groups broken down from teens to adults, English language as second instruction, genealogy instruction, scan/fax services, and much more:
- Job resources and services
- Newspapers, articles, and encyclopedias
- Antiques and collectors’ guides
- Student resources
- Fiction, non-fiction, plays, and poems
- Go-It-Yourself guides
- Health and Medical guides
Everything is computerized from becoming a card-carrying member to check-in/check out. Flash–the book or material is accounted for!
The Lake County Public Library conducted a Strategic Plan for 2017-2021. Lake County is divided into seven independent library districts. Together they serve a population of over 487,865, of which this library system is the third largest. In addition to regular staff, there were 122 volunteers last year assisting in classes and information.
The district distributed a Public Input Survey to obtain feedback regarding the direction of the library intended to identify areas of improvement in collection and services. In order to capture a large number of patrons, the survey was issued in several formats:
- Emails to patrons
- Paper copies in all branches
- QR readers (quick response code used by smart phone)
- Link to Facebook
- Link on the library homepage
Not surprisingly, the email blast was the most successful method with 1,887 responding or 92.95% of responses from the email link to patrons with cards on file. Seven services were selected as priority after evaluation of data with focus on programs designed for children and teens, students, adults with a lack of literacy skills, research resources, cultural awareness, and services for new immigrants. The library has become a community center with specific services designed to raise literacy skills across all socio-economic levels.
Prepare to engage in far more than simply borrowing a book from your local library. Now, they have classes to teach you to write your own. First, I’m signing up for the Genealogy classes–Stanley McShane wrote the books. I have his manuscripts, but I’m hoping to figure out where he actually came from–and how–finally. I ♥ my library! ©2017 Virginia Williams