Tammy Clausen: Berwyn Public Library has bright future ahead
The Berwyn Public Library is a strong anchor for the city of Berwyn.
It attracts foot traffic and civic activity on a daily basis and serves more than 1,500 people daily. That is one person every 20 seconds during the hours in which we are open.
By offering Adult ESL conversation, writing and reading groups, GED and citizenship classes, the library is making huge strides as a leader in adult literacy. For our youth, we offer early childhood story times, homework help and dozens of literacy-focused programs. In 2013, we will add more family literacy programming and offer school teachers continuing education classes (CPDU credits).
The library provides our community equal access to the tools needed for success. One of our fastest growing services is providing public computers and Internet access.
There are still plenty of Americans who don’t have a computer or Internet access at home. Without public library computers, these folks would be at a real disadvantage in a world that expects everyone to apply for jobs, Social Security and unemployment via the Internet.
Early 20th century philanthropist Andrew Carnegie said, “There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the free public library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office nor wealth receive the slightest consideration.”
By year’s end, we anticipate that we will have had more than 60,000 in-library users of the public access computers. We have made tremendous strides this year to increase our bandwidth, update our hardware and install additional software.
The library strives to support personal enrichment for children, teens and adults. Next year will bring changes in the look of our Teen and Children’s Services.
The library has planned and secured funding for furnishing an updated teen room. We spent the summer and early fall weeding and evaluating the children’s collections and will begin a redesign in 2013 to create a safer, more dynamic environment for Berwyn youths.
The Berwyn Public Library accomplished a great deal in 2012, and the new year promises to include more literacy-based initiatives, cooperative economic services and community programming. Rediscover the Berwyn Public Library — we have something for everyone.
Tammy Clausen is the director of the Berwyn Public Library
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