What is the potential of the library to help a community? How should a library prepare itself to better serve the community? These weighty questions are on my mind as I check out books, as I help people with their employment applications on the library computers, as I help them photocopy their resumes, and other daily routines.
The new technologies simply blow my mind. How can the library keep up with the speed of technology? Kindles and Nooks and eBooks are one thing, but hold the phone — there’s even more.
Did you know that for $2,200, we could get a small three-dimensional copier that copies objects? It copies actual things! This up-and-comer in the world of technology was developed by Toshiba. I first learned about it on the CBS morning news on Oct. 18. They demonstrated with a little girl who was specially outfitted with devices to enable her to raise her arms. She needed new devices as she grew, and the 3-D copier was just the ticket.
Besides technology, what is new in the world of library services? Clearly there are many new technologies that we may wish to provide to the public — 3-D copying, wireless printing and a host of others. But what is it we are striving for? What’s the goal we have in mind?
I’ll take a stab at that. We want to help the community become all that it can be. We want to provide a place where our residents can achieve their own goals. But wait a minute — what are their goals? These days, our younger citizens are connected by iPad and iPhone and Skype and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and you name it. And they aren’t the only ones. Those of us in our “later years” are learning the value of these gizmos, and we are participating by the droves. Because, by golly, we are finding some of them useful.
The library was traditionally a place to find knowledge. But we are learning that the younger generations want more. They want places where they can create knowledge. My goodness, this gives us a whole new world of strategies in the library.
On Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m., we will start preparing a new five-year plan for the future of the library. I hope you will join us.Winterset Public Library
123 North Second St.
Mon. – Thur.: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. – Sat.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.