Forget Valentine’s Day, February 14th is Library Lovers’ Day in Australia!
So to mark the occasion (which internationally is a whole month), break out your book bags and head down to your local library!
It might be a surprise but libraries have managed to stay with the times, on your trip you might find yourself marveling at all the new and wonderful resources.You might find a 3D printer, free wifi, a collection of eBooks and eAudio books, a larger collection of free to use resources such as family history access and not to mention a even larger number of books.
In light of the day you might even find a ‘Blind Date’ book selection, whereby books are wrapped in brown paper and only small hints about the plot revealed. When you borrow your ‘date,’ you get a literary surprise when you get home.
As a qualified librarian myself, you may say that I am unreasonably bias in the matter, but libraries have been around for thousands of years and will continue to stick around for even longer. So what are you waiting for? Go show your local library a little love!
If you would like to know more about what your library can do for you, check out my post, Library Services and You or simply have a quick look at my Library Month event from 2014.
When you think of libraries chances are you’ll think of books. This is by no means the wrong answer as for hundreds and thousands of years, libraries have been a ready source of books. However, as with everything, libraries have changed with the times and technologies. Such steady progression has seen many new features added to the repertoires of libraries, with new services being added and older one being updated.
To give an example, many libraries now offer a wide range of services such as:
- Online catalogues.
- eBook collections.
- Digital magazines.
- Digital music collections (often restricted to a number of downloads a fortnight).
- Online access to newspapers and their archives.
- Family history services and specific website access.
- 3D printing.
- Nation wide inter library loans.
- Cultural collections (digitised or physical).
- Free wifi.
- Free computer access.
- Prints of images from the collections (eg Fie arts prints).
- Some libraries also have on site cafes.
- Home delivery services.
- Multilingual collections.
- Author events.
- Children’s programs.
- Technology education classes.
- Book club groups.
These new and evolved services are purely examples, with each library and its offered services being different. Although why certainly, some libraries may have all of these services, others may only offer a few of them. In addition, the existence of special libraries which house more focused and subject based collections, has opened up an even larger opportunities for library users. Where before you would have to physically travel to a special library collection, or have the information scanned and sent to you, the digitalisation of special library collections has meant that you can now access the resources online.
Just as the creation of the Internet and the World Wide Web has revolutionised the way in which we live, so too has it greatly affected the services that libraries can offer. So next time you think about purchasing an eBook, or buying a magazine subscription, why not check out your local library and see what they have to offer.
As a child, I remember the moment I got my very own library card. Until then I had been piggy backing off my Mother’s card but it wasn’t until I got my very own card that I truly felt in control of my own borrowing. The card was still kept in my Mother’s wallet but I could still walk up to the counter and the nice librarian could scan the books for me.
I don’t think we should ever forget the power of a library card. For a child, at least in my own experience, it was like opening up a whole new world of possibilities. No longer was my hand being held through the library, as I finally had the power to choose and consume the knowledge in the books I had borrowed all by myself.
Still to this day I remember my library card number, rather than that of my license or credit card number. I feel that just like the power of the library card, the library itself is still a important and powerful part of society.