Sunday, October 30, 2011
Library Board Chairman Speaks Up for the Value and Relevancy of Libraries
Libraries meet evolving needs. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/27/2011)
Excerpt: Every day more than 13,000 people stream into one of the Gwinnett County Public Library branches. We have more than 3.4 million yearly visitors, a number increasing at 9 percent to 10 percent a year. They are checking out more than 7.5 million items and logging 5.4 million hits on our website. Yet the average family contributes less than $47 per year for these services.
The lives we touch exceed by many factors all other county services. The services we provide are almost as numerous as the number of people coming in each day. And they are not coming to the library of the past, but a library system that continues to evolve to meet the needs of the 15 neighborhood communities we serve.
A small number of people try to dumb down what we do. They draw an analogy between libraries and bookstores, or libraries and DVD rental stores. They say you can find everything you need by Googling it.
If this is true, why do our customers keep coming?
The Internet has not reduced the number of people coming to the library. Instead, thanks to the aggressive adoption of technology in our libraries, the number of users has increased.