Libraries look to the future. (Jamestown Post-Journal, 8/7/2011)
Excerpt: Area librarians are seeking to address the future needs of libraries - and could use residents' help in doing so.
Dialogue has begun between local and state library officials in order to develop a 10-year plan for library services in the state. According to a state library website, libraries are experiencing unprecedented use while facing an ongoing financial crisis.
"At a time when libraries provide an even wider window to the world's collected knowledge, librarians are facing layoffs; libraries are closing doors or limiting hours, and budgets for materials and online resources are being slashed," the site reports. "Libraries experience first-hand the public's hunger for information, education and learning.''
Librarians are rising to the occasion by redefining what library service means in the digital age. The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries invited input from library and education communities to develop the new statewide plan for library services. A conference was held to begin the dialogue, and surveys were sent with questions including what roles libraries should take, what challenges they face, how library services can be extended, how community members can connect to libraries, how the survival of libraries can be ensured, how the state can help and the impact of the digital age on libraries.
While state officials work to develop a statewide plan in 2012, local librarians have already given input.