‘Public Libraries: We need them more than ever’

I admit I still struggle with the changes in libraries caused by technology. Sometimes I want the old library I remember from my childhood; the one where time was spent turning pages in books, not conquering games on screens. However, in light of advancement and growth, I am grateful that we have so many people still visiting libraries day after day whether or not they are there to read books.

If  those running the libraries in BC and elsewhere hadn’t embraced the advent of the internet and all that comes with it,  more than likely libraries would not be so strongly visited. I have faith that the library’s foremost reason for being will not fall by the wayside: a place of enlightenment and access to information. As Catherine Evans reminds us in her article Public Libraries: We need them more than ever, patrons in BC borrowed over 57 million items in 2010 and I’m willing to bet there were some books in there. In fact, she discusses how the internet has actually created a NEW need for the library, rather than taking away the need at all; now that’s good news. For example, the library serves as a vital place for people to work on resumes and job search programs. I’ve certainly done job search at the library, but I also use it to borrow DVD’s and CD’s and to feed my appetite for fiction.

Catherine Evans also talks about the upcoming discussions at Vancouver Public Library, Free-for-all: Reimagining Your Library. To find out what people want to see in their ideal library, starting this month until February 2012, VPL will be hosting ‘interesting, fun and interactive activities – live and online’. The first of these sessions is November 29th.  The theme is Public Places and Learning Spaces. So, join in person or grab a Conversation Kit and explore with friends, family and neighbours. For more information, visit Free-for-all: Reimagining Your Library or www.vpl.ca.

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