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The Changing Face of Public Libraries (Infographic)

April 24, 2013 By

Libraries in America are changing, as proven by Bexar County, Texas, opening one completely devoid of books; the launch of the Digital Public Library of America, which aggregates resources from museums and libraries across the country; and Midland County, Texas, Public Libraries' new and improved Centennial Library, complete with digital signage touchscreens and an interactive card catalog.

And they're changing because they have to. The Web has introduced virtually limitless access to information, giving public libraries new challenges: "Online resources allow people instant access to books, magazines, job information and applications, health information and online classes. So how do libraries plan to continue engaging communities? In the face of new technologies, libraries are adapting to a new reality," according to

The aforementioned libraries clearly have it down, offering free computer and Internet access (including Wi-Fi) -- services that the majority of American adults think are very important for libraries to provide.

As for public libraries nationwide, the following infographic from examines both their current use and the challenges they face as knowledge providers.

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Deb    |    Commented April 25, 2013

Perhaps "News Staff" should actually go to a library once in a while before they write nonsensical stories that play to common myths and misconceptions. Or, at least, read their own infographic. Libraries continue to provide information, programming, and resources to everyone in the community for free. Libraries, as always, change and grow to meet the needs of their communities. Sure, they've replaced scrolls and papyrus with ebooks and internet computers. But they also continue to teach preschool literacy at story-times, have movie night, teen programs, summer reading, and community talks, information, and resources. Library use continues to rise in spite of all the doomcasting of the tech worshipers. Only the most out-of-touch politicians fail to realize that their constituents don't want a library without books, or a community without a library. And those that think they can do away with the beloved institution soon find that their community is more willing to do without those politicians than without the library.

Natalie    |    Commented June 25, 2013

I agree with Deb. Focusing on the negatives of the economy and changes in demand helps no one. Rather looking at what libraries are able to offer, what they are implementing, and how supportive communities are toward their libraries is far more beneficial for everyone.

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