By now, everyone has heard the idea that the printed word may be on its way out. Bookstores are closing, magazines are shutting down, and even textbooks are going digital.
At the Addison Public Library, we’re not so sure that there’s no room in the world for paper and ink – our circulation statistics speak to the fact that there is plenty of demand for books, magazines and newspapers in Addison. When we polled more than 200 library patrons over the course of a few days last month, about 90 percent reported that they enjoyed reading print material.
But we’re also happy to embrace the sort of technology that many might think would leave us trembling in fear. The fact that e-books, websites, podcasts and other digital media are becoming increasingly popular actually excites us – we can’t wait to get in on the action! One-third of our survey respondents agree, and more will surely follow suit.
We’ve already been offering e-books for some time, and they’re getting more and more popular. Why wouldn’t they be? You can check out a book from home – or from halfway around the world – and instead of racking up overdue fines, they check themselves in when they’re due!
Anyone with a tablet or even a computer can come to the library and let us show them how to get started; the same goes with our downloadable audiobooks. Only a few devices won’t work with our system.
We’re excited to have recently added magazines to our digital collection. Zinio, the digital magazine app, lets users peruse the pages of many of the most popular magazines for free and from anywhere.
Not content merely consuming digital media? We soon will be the place to go create it as well. Construction of our digital media lab is almost finished; patrons soon will be able to enhance old photos, use professional graphic and video software and even borrow a green screen to make movies.
Not sure how to get started? The library always offers computer classes; this spring, we’ll talk about downloading from our collection, using Twitter and shooting digital photos.
We know that many residents of Addison come to us for books and nothing but. And all of us here feel the same way: The library should be a home for books. But we’re so much more than that, too! Anyone who hasn’t used any of our technological resources should come try us out.
John Kokoris is the public relations coordinator for the Addison Public Library. For information about the library, at 4 1 Friendship Plaza, visit addisonlibrary.org or call 630-543-3617