Writers Tricks of the Trade ISSUE 3, VOLUME 7 - Page 22

INDUSTRY NEWS W HY L IBRARY V ISITS H AVE G ONE W AY U P S OURCE : E VERY L IBRARY Between 1990 and 2014, visits to public libraries grew by a whopping 181%. For context, the population of the United States increased by 28% during that period. Why have so many more people been using their libraries in the last two decades? L IBRARIANS ARE MORE INVOLVED IN THEIR COMMUNITIES Librarians expand the library’s reach by regularly presenting at community meetings, staffing booths at events, and just generally applying their skills in creative ways to help their community. Some libraries have formed partnerships with nearby non-profits allowing their librarians to temporarily work in those organizations, use their skills in information architecture, metadata development, and technology. They are able to assist in ways that further the mission of both the library and the non-profit. Terms like outreach and community engagement are seen very frequently and there even a blog dedicated to embedded librarianship. H IGH Q UALITY P ROGRAM O FFERINGS Libraries have hosted book clubs, film screenings, storytimes, and arts & crafts for years. Most people can probably remember attending at least one storytime at the library. Those programs are great! In the past few decades, however, libraries raised the bar with their program offerings to respond to patron needs. Workshops and training on starting a business, basic job skills, and STEM programs for kids are just a few new options available. Libraries across the country are organizing larger multi-day events like comic- cons, “Community Reads” events, and literary festivals L IBRARIES E MBRACE A U SER -C ENTERED A PPROACH TO T ECHNOLOGY Libraries have become the go-to places for computer classes, help with devices like tablets and e- readers, and access to free ebooks and audiobooks which is possibly the biggest reason library visits have grown so drastically in the last two decades. The role of libraries is not to be on the leading-edge of technology,but rather to focus on the needs of their communities. They don’t have the budgets nor would it be appropriate for them to spend large amounts on every new gadget and operating system that surfaces (and often sinks). However, it is part of the library’s role to assess technology needs and create opportunities for the public to have those needs met. According to the State of America’s Libraries 2015 report, “…nearly all (97.5%) public libraries offer free wireless internet access [and] Technology training is offered in nearly all (98.0%) public libraries…” Libraries don’t upgrade their computers every year, but help their patrons access the information they need, whether it is at the library or at home by using skills they learned at the library. Click To Read The Full Article At READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT F ALL 2017 P AGE 14 W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE TRADE