If you could see all of the activity around me today, you would know that the answer to that question is “yes.” Of course I would say that as a librarian, but the last few days have brought home to me how much our services are needed.
There is so much information available on the internet that people need someone to sort through information for them. Librarians find creditable sources and libraries pay to use online databases that the general public cannot afford as individual subscriptions. Yesterday I showed a mother the Tumblebooks link on our kids page. With a computer, children can see the pages of picture books on which the words are highlighted while the computer reads the text aloud. I also explained the Maker Lab to a very excited patron.These are two of the many resources you can access with your library card. We offer e-books and audiobooks that can be downloaded to your mp3 player through Overdrive, streaming movies from Hoopla, magazines through Flipster, music downloads through Freegal and a language learning program called Mango. All of these services can be accessed from home through whatever internet device you own.
We currently have two terrific apps for your mobile device: the ACPL mobile app lets you browse the catalog, check the events calendar, store your library card info and renew books with a touch of your screen; the family app has games, information and much more to offer to parents of young children. You currently need to have an Apple device to access the family app, but I’m told it will be available for android in the future.
Libraries are gathering points for the community. Parents attend the same story times each week with their children and make friends with other parents. Groups use our meeting rooms for quilting, dance, yoga, scrap-booking and, of course, meetings. ACPL has its own theater and art gallery. There are also live music concerts throughout the year. This summer ACPL again offers Rock the Plaza concerts outdoors on Saturday evenings. Oh, by the way, we also have books.