How Libraries Have Changed Over the Last 25 Years

In the past, libraries were “quiet” places because most libraries were built as large open spaces.  Today’s libraries still have dedicated quiet areas, but the rest of the library is a hub of excited activity with gathering spaces for people who simply want to be around others while they work from home, read the daily newspapers, conduct internet searches, network with business contacts, look for jobs, browse for media or print material, attend educational or enrichment programs. 

 

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Books and print materials are still important in libraries. In 1975 we had 35,000 books. Today we have nearly 65,000. We have run out of space.

 

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Today, thanks to technology, libraries are important centers for computer use, internet research, conducting business remotely, applying for jobs, interacting with groups all over the world, reading with Kindles, listening to CD’s or watching DVDs. 

 

Libraries offer communication and internet opportunities for people who are unable to have these services in their homes.

 

Here are a few statistics that may interest you, as of 2019:

  • We offered 48 computer training programs, to more than 240 participants.

  • Over 18,225 patrons downloaded one or more of our e-Books or audiobooks.

  • We provided 2-4 free films for adults each month, including Oscar contenders.  Over 1076 attended.

  • We hosted 6 different monthly book discussion groups.

  • We held 7 free summer music concerts.

  • 703 students participated in our summer reading programs.

  • We stayed open during finals so that high school students would have quiet places to study for exams.

  • Computer users accessed over 379,000 minutes of internet time, with over 105,600 website hits.

 

At the Library
Studying in the Library

Libraries are also a place of refuge during power outages where people can get warm, have a hot drink, charge their phones and computers, and enjoy conversations.