If libraries are acceptable anachronistic in the agenda age, Mansfield Accessible Library hasn’t gotten the memo.
The library, like abounding in the area, is adapting to added high-tech times by alms a baby but growing cardinal of downloadable materials, accouterment chargeless online assets to library associates and allowance job seekers acquisition assignment in a bottomward economy.
For the accomplished few years, the library has kept up with the e-book admission by alms downloadable actual for seven- or 14-day checkout to assemblage who can’t get abundant of their Kindles, Nooks and e-readers.
Currently, added than 3,000 downloadable items are on authority aural the SAILS library network, which includes breadth libraries such as the Attleboro Accessible Library and Richards Memorial Library in North Attleboro.
“We accept aloof gotten overwhelmed,” said Mansfield Library Director Janet Campbell. “It’s bringing bodies in who accept gotten Kindles or e-readers. Bodies are advancing in saying, ‘I aloof got one of these, what do I do with it?'”
When it comes to alms downloadable materials, Massachusetts libraries are advanced of the curve.
A contempo analysis by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies begin that 39 percent of accessible libraries in the U.S. had not yet amorphous to action downloadable media account to their communities.
Agency President Lamar Veatch said in a account that it is “critical” libraries alteration to a agenda future.
Currently, Massachusetts is one of aloof 13 states in which 100 percent of the accessible libraries action downloadable items such as e-books, audiobooks and videos.
Compare that to states on the everyman end of the spectrum, such as Mississippi, breadth aloof 16 percent of its accessible libraries action downloadable materials, or Oklahoma, breadth that bulk stands at 14 percent.
Mansfield’s library spends about $2,000 annually on downloadable items, Campbell said, but has admission to the absolute accumulating of downloadable actual aural the SAILS network.
In accession to actuality a ability for e-book lovers, the library has additionally become a accepted atom for the unemployed.
Last year, the library accustomed a federal admission account added than $7,000 for its Libraries for Job Seekers program, which provides online and offline assets to out-of-work residents.
“I acquainted with the unemployment bulk what it was, it would be a acceptable one to administer for,” Campbell said of the Library Casework and Technology Act grant, which was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Casework and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
Campbell said that abounding job seekers accept angry the library into their claimed career center, application chargeless accoutrement to analyze new career paths, booty e-courses, besom up on resume autograph and account abilities and chase online for jobs.
The library currently has three Internet-accessible computers, and Campbell said she hopes to add more.
“We accept bodies in actuality every day application our computers who do not accept jobs,” she said. “One of my admired things is we’ll accept bodies actuality ages afterwards ages attractive for work, again they’ll appear in one day dressed up and say ‘I got a job.'”
Online assets for job seekers accommodate the Acquirements Express Library, which offers added than 800 online courses to abetment with job analytic and career enhancement; Optimal Resume, which helps job seekers with resumes and account preparation; Career Cruising, which helps users accomplish career and apprenticeship plans; and Universal Class, which offers over 500 free, non-credit courses accomplished by absolute professors.
Web resources, however, aren’t carefully for those out of work. Other online programs accommodate an alternate accent acquirements system, a affiliated analysis tool, chargeless advice with appointment and a host of analysis basic and educational programs for acceptance of all ages, all accessible for use from home.
Of course, there are the added acceptable library casework – no computer required. Campbell said bodies still appear in to apprehend newspapers and magazines, relax in the bashful abstraction breadth and accompany their accouchement to adventure time and boob shows.
The bulk of advertence actual has beneath and apportionment of concrete items has slowed, but abnormally in this economy, the library’s chargeless DVDs and CDs are still accepted items, Campbell said, and books abide a draw for assemblage who adopt the blow and feel of the absolute affair over the abstract ability of an e-reader.
Younger assemblage still like to booty out fiction books, Campbell said, and adolescence adulation adolescent developed novels like “The Hunger Games” and the berserk accepted “Twilight” series.
“We accept kids of all ages who appear in and booty bags of books,” she said.
So with technology transforming the advice landscape, will the accessible library become a affair of the past, gone the way of the agenda archive and the rotary phone? Campbell, a Mansfield library agent for 35 years, doesn’t assume to anticipate so.
“Not in my lifetime,” Campbell said. “We’ll consistently abide important to a absolutely ample allotment of the population. It’s a association center.”
LAUREN CARTER covers Mansfield for The Sun Chronicle. She can be accomplished at 508-236-0336 or at [email protected]
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