As the times change, local libraries are changing with it. Arkansas State Library director Jeff Bailey says more of the library’s resources are going online, increasing interest, and performance.
“The library is the gateway now to information. Both print and online. In-fact seventy five percent of our resources are online resources. That includes somewhere around four-hundred thousand e-books. Forty to fifty journalism and magazine titles, all of those resources are online.”
More libraries are switching their focus to information literacy, allowing people to find the information they need, as quickly as possible. But that’s far from the end of it. At the Craighead County library, staff are offering a bigger collection of books, in addition to more amenities, and opportunities for visitors to be social.
“I come here a lot because I like to watch movies. And I like to be on the computer.” “And I like to read a lot…since I was a teenager. So I come in here and get a lot of books,” said library visitors Gennett Norman and Sierra Irvine.
Outreach is bigger. Craighead County Library staff are using a digital photo sharing tool called Timeline to connect with visitors.
“We encourage citizens in our community to share their historic photos with us. We ask if they have historic photos of Jonesboro and Craighead County to bring them in. And we will scan them….digitize them,” said Nathan Whitmire, Tech Services Manager for Craighead County Library.
It makes a statement that libraries, aren’t only around for the books.
“What makes a library now are the skills we have as librarians. And library personnel, to help people make the best use of information…and to decide what information is the best,” added Bailey.