By Lynn Zimmerman
Editor, Teacher Education
When is the last time you went to the library? When is the last time you went to check out a book?
Maybe your library offers e-books you can check out on your Kindle or iPad, so you don’t even really need to go. If you haven’t been in a while, you may be in for a surprise.
Since the advent of personal computers and the growth of the Internet, library services have changed and continue to evolve. If you have been in a library recently, you probably noticed that the day of the spinsterish librarian shushing everyone has pretty much disappeared. Modern libraries have quiet corners for those who want to read or study.
However, the scene you will more often walk into is a place bustling with a variety of programming for adults and children. You’ll see people checking their email, listening to music, and watching programs on one of the many computers scattered around. In some libraries, you will even see people eating and drinking!
Today’s library and librarians need to be on the forefront of technology to provide the public with the tools and skills they need to be able to navigate the world of information that is at their fingertips. So, if you want to know, ask a librarian!
A few interesting articles related to this topic:
“For Internet to Go, Check the Library,” by Tony Gonzalez, Nashville Public Radio – about mobile wifi hotspots for library patrons to lease.
“This Is What a Librarian Looks Like,” by Jordan Teicher, at Slate – features photos of librarians taken by Kyle Cassidy and their comments about the role of libraries and librarians in the information age.
“Library Services in the Digital Age,” by Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie and Kristen Purcell at Pew Internet – the role of libraries as technology resources as well as repositories for books.