Monday, February 13, 2017

The Changing Face of Libraries


My, how libraries have changed over the years! What used to be quiet places to check out books and read in silence, are now hubs for socialization and a variety of activities.

My local St. Charles City-County Library (Spencer Road Branch) has something going on just about every day of the week. Knitting lessons, author talks, tax preparation classes, and healthy living seminars are a few events held on a regular basis. With a few clicks of a mouse, card holders can reserve the latest books, e-books, CDs, or DVDs or sign up for classes or events.

At the Spencer Road Branch Library last fall my sister and I attended a breast cancer awareness dinner co-sponsored by the library and a local hospital. The event included medical professionals and inspiring talks from survivors. Vendors, handouts, and a light meal were also available.

The following month we participated in an eight-week class for senior citizens on better balance co-sponsored by OASIS. We learned how to prevent falls, were shown how to safely preform exercises, provided healthy snacks, and were given workbooks to refer to after class completion.

At the end of 2016, my sister, one of my critique group friends, and I attended a “Book Buzz” presentation by a library marketing representative from Penguin Random House. Not only did the library provide snacks, the publisher gave each attendee a cool tote bag that read "Can't I'm Booked." Inside each bag was a free book. My free book was a copy of Always by Sarah Jio, which is on my to-be-read list.



During the slide show presentation, the publisher's representative highlighted books to be released in the fall of 2016 and winter of 2017. Along with displaying copies of dozens of book covers, he gave a description of each book. One element I was interested in hearing about was the print run of the books, which generally is an indication that a book  will be in high demand. After hearing about so many fascinating books, immediately after the presentation my sister and I hurried to the check-out counter to add our names on the reserve list for books that were especially appealing. 

Although libraries have changed from the time I received my first buff-colored library card when I was in grade school,  one thing has remained constant in my life, my love for libraries and books will never go out of style.

15 comments:

  1. What a great library you all have! That book presentation sounds amazing, and I love the tote bag.

    Our local libraries have tons of stuff, too, although I tend to just reserve books, pick them up, then wander the New Fiction and New Non Fiction shelves. Sometimes you can find me up in the Young Adult area where I feel even more like a fuddy-duddy than I am. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Madeline,
      The YA section of the library is like another world to me.

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  2. Now libraries have to compete with cell phones. People can read books on them, look up information...things you used to do in the library.

    The best part of summer when I was a kid was when my mom drove my sister and I to the library every two weeks. It was in a room over the firehouse, run by a lady with cerebral palsy. We could check out three books at a time, and I always did.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Val,
      Those are some sweet memories with your mom and sister.

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  3. Donna--I loved libraries when I was a kid, and I still love them.

    You're right. So many exciting things are happening there these days. At the library I once even saw a gorgeous woman writer with silvery white hair, who shared with her fellow writers and the audience how she is so successful at writing memoir stories.

    I wonder who that woman was...

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    Replies
    1. Was she seated next to a lovely lady with red hair and a wicked sense of humor? if so, I might know who she is.

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  4. I still love going to a library and wandering the stacks for the right book to jump out at me. Long live libraries and librarians!

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  5. Sounds like you have a very active and interesting library close at hand! Good for you.

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  6. I remember when the schools I attended didn't have libraries, but teachers would have a shelf of books in their classrooms for borrowing. Of course, I began my education in a one-room school! The first book I borrowed was by Dr. Seuss--Bartholomew and the OObleck--no card necessary. I think it's wonderful that libraries have evolved with the times to meet the needs of communities.

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  7. St. Charles libraries do offer so much. I was amazed years ago to discover videos for rent for free. Our newest library has a play area for toddlers with a "store" stocked with toy groceries. It's a fun place to visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. St. Louis city and county also have great libraries.
      I just checked out a video the other night from our St. Charles city-county library. Helps keep a few $ in the pocketbook.

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  8. Hi Patricia,
    That's so true!

    Hi Claudia,
    Hope your library is a good one too!

    Hi Clara,
    How interesting that you began your education in a one-room school. The schools I attended also had shelves with books. Starting Dick and Jane and Fun with Dick and Jane.

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  9. I love our library system. The programming is amazing, they'll knock their socks off to find any item you want, and they are incredibly welcoming to local writers.

    Pat
    www.patwahler.com

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  10. Hi, Donna. I love libraries, too. My cousin and I conduct a craft class at our local senior center each week. We've recently started to convert a very small room there into a little library. I'm going to try and get them interested in reading. We have one tall bookcase and I am finding books to bring in that I think they might be interested in. We even found an overhead projector and a machine that magnifies pages to bring into the room. For one of our craft classes we are going to have them making bookmarks and maybe even book bags. As you can see I'm really excited about our little library :o)

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  11. I love libraries too. Which reminds me, I haven't been to our local one in quite a while. I should remedy that. Appreciate you sharing this. Have a good weekend!

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