Ten years ago, Alice Baker Library was still using little date stamps to check out books. Now we're automated, part of a thriving 14-library system, and are much better able to serve our patron's reading, listening, and viewing needs. But we're far more than that. We've got an active web presence. Our website provides everything from our local and statewide catalog to research databases which quite literally offer the world to our patrons.
We offer computer gaming for all ages, downloadable audio and video, access to books on the web, and regularly offer classes to keep our loyal patrons abreast of all the changes.
Library 2.0 is alive and well in Eagle, Wisconsin. But where are we headed next?
CNN is thinking about libraries and their future and offers some interviews and opinions on the new look and the new direction of libraries.
Many real-world libraries are moving forward with the assumption that physical books will play a much-diminished or potentially nonexistent role in their efforts to educate the public.
Some books will still be around, they say, although many of those will be digital. But the goal of the library remains the same: To be a free place where people can access and share information.
"The library building isn't a warehouse for books," said Helene Blowers, digital strategy director at the Columbus [Ohio] Metropolitan Library. "It's a community gathering center."
Of course, we were a community gathering center long even in the days of the little date stamp. But we're moving with the times and becoming more every day.