This year, we’ve been seeing libraries grow and adapt to changing information needs. Diverse forms of media are increasingly being represented in library collections. One of my favorite things I’ve noticed this year at my local library is the growing diversity in its collections. I’ve checked out board games, video games, movies, a bubble machine, and even a butterfly baking pan this year from the library. It’s been wonderful to see libraries explore materials outside of printed books in their collections.
I’ve asked some of my friends and family members what they loved about the library this year, and many of them responded with various services and programs. Stephanie shared that she “liked the displays the library has about teaching anti racism to kids” in the Hayward Public Library. Her sister Alondra liked the library art displays featuring art from kids around the community. Annsley loves taking her young nieces and nephews to the Newark Public Library as the children’s section “encourages children to learn and play” in their own space while favoring having fun over being quiet. Joey loved making pumpkins out of book pages during a library craft night with his girlfriend. Book sales at the start of each season are some of TJ’s favorite things to look forward to because he’s able to purchase beautiful hardcover books at a great price while supporting the Friends of the Corvallis Benton County Public Library. Summer and winter reading bingo were Tyler’s favorite activities with the library. Gilbert liked learning about his dads’ favorite bands by checking out their concert DVDs and checking out classic films to discuss with his grandpa.
Personally, I see libraries heading in a great direction. Collections are expanding beyond the printed pages, fines are being removed, and programs are reflecting diverse subjects. While asking my friends and family what they enjoy about the library, it was clear through their responses that the library brings people together, whether that be through their collections, displays, or programs. Nearly everyone I talked to discussed how much they loved the library’s space and activities. This shows that libraries are capable of so much more than storing books on shelves. As an adult, I’ve loved attending library craft nights for all ages, participating in their summer reading program, and various other seasonal reading challenges. I’m not a devoted video gamer and so being able to check out games for free from the library has been a risk-free way to explore what kinds of video games I enjoy. My friends and I have checked out many different cookbooks from the library and have greatly expanded the dishes we make at home. I even learned how to make my own bread! My friends and I have also loved checking out board games and movies to watch together. The library collection allowed us to explore new things we probably would never have known about otherwise.
Below is a list of articles that reflect further on library services and discuss the future of libraries. What have you loved about your library this year? What do you think about the future of libraries?
Articles About Library Reflections
Articles About the Future of Libraries
~Written by Samantha Harteau the ALASC Bogging Assistant