ABC Libraries Response to 21st Century Challenges
The New ABC Libraries
ABC Libraries are not your great grandfather’s or even your grandfather’s public library. Thanks to responsible stewardship and the wise use of taxpayer funds by a dedicated staff, and thanks to partnerships forged with community organizations, schools and governmental agencies, ABC Library is grappling with the novelties of the digital age and winning.
ABC Libraries are increasingly vibrant places of digitally connected learning across age, socio-economic, ethnic and cultural divisions. They provide convenient access to a broad range of informational resources to meet personal and community needs. As they should, they enhance our quality of life through education, recreation and lifelong learning.
What resources do ABC Libraries use to meet the challenges of technology in an age when so many other institutions and even businesses fall victims to technology changes? For a start, ABC Library made adjustments to their collection. Traditional print resources remain, of course. But you will also find eReaders, eBooks, eAudiobooks, music videos, DVDs, movies and a wide range of books in a variety of languages. The collection also includes eMagazines and eResources for self-tutoring and independent research. ABC Libraries allow you to stay connected with learning and research from the comfort of your home.
ABC Libraries expanded programs. They plan events and facilitate programs to meet individual and community needs. Would you like to take a class, check your bank statement, search for a job; sharpen skills for a new job, print the hot-off-the-press resume you just updated? You can doo all these at ABC Libraries. And, yes, traditional preschool story time is still available; but so are computer classes, adult literacy classes, book clubs, Read to the Dogs, summer reading programs, Gizmo Garage, Movie Nights. Imagine being able to borrow a cake pan for your next bake off or having a baby shower with all the fun and anticipation at your local library! Does genealogy interest you? Check out programs at Special Collections!
The People’s University
In 2011, 2,526,208 customers used ABC Libraries. They logged 629,687 computer sessions and 77, 433 digital book downloads. Staff ran 11,957 free programs.
ABC Libraries have earned their designation as the people’s university, town halls, community centers, as effective public libraries have over the years. They bring people together for all of the reasons mentioned before and are natural sites for community gatherings.
Only eight of our seventeen ABC Libraries provide meeting rooms. By building greater awareness of the important role of our libraries in providing and maintaining sustainable livable communities we can help ABC Libraries work towards making library meeting rooms the norm rather than the exception. I am optimistic that this will happen.
· Our newest library building with up-to-date, state of the art design to be opened soon at Southwest Central and Unser is already being recognized as an asset to the neighborhood.
· Our Mayor has proposed $4.1 million for ABC Libraries funding in the 2015 budget.
· Among other requests, an item on the Support ABC Libraries Capital Outlay wish list currently making the rounds at the Fifty-second Legislature is a request for Capital Outlay funding for a long-overdue Northwest ABC Library building.
Support ABC Libraries
We have made progress but we still have much work to do. We continue to need help to make one of our most valuable community resources the best that it can be. Sign up for email notifications of library budget meetings and bond elections so you will know when to call your representatives, senators, county commissioners and city councilors for their support. Continue to support ABC Libraries!