CHENANGO COUNTY – Libraries are changing all over the country in response to digitization and advances in technology. With the emergence of e-books, iPads, laptop computers, and the wide spread use of the internet for information, there has been a rising demand for these resources in libraries.
An article in The Washington Post states, “While many patrons still want to use libraries to borrow books, they’re also increasingly thinking of them as a community space that enables access to technology and a source of digital literacy for all different demographics.”
While this change is certainly happening, a discussion with librarians in Chenango County showed that the needs of patrons and the responses from their libraries are not universally the same.
Connie Dalrymple, Director of Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich, explained that both electronic and print circulation has been on the rise. Dalrymple has been active in anticipating and engaging with new technologies. “A lot of people don't realize what we do have,” said Dalrymple.
When asked if patrons are mainly coming in for computer access, Dalrymple explained that some initially enter for that resource but most get “sucked in” to other materials and leave with a book or DVD.
Like all libraries in the Four County Library System, Guernsey has access to the “Download Zone,” which gives patrons access to over 1,000 e-book titles. Guernsey currently offers computers, audio books, DVDs, wifi access, e-books, magazines, newspapers, iPads, a Kindle, and (of course) books to their patrons.