You might not know it, but your local library, wherever that may be, is making awesome changes. In order to meet the needs of new generations of patrons, new ways of delivering information and integrating new technologies into the traditional library setting have to be explored if our institutions are going to stay relevant.
You may be fairly familiar with one of our main goals: to provide a core collection that is 100% electronic. This is just one way that we feel we can be of the best use to our community of patrons. If we can provide the information they need to them Anywhere, Anytime, and on Any Device, then our patrons have many ways they can enjoy their library experience; in the library with our wonderful staff, and outside the library wherever they may be. Away from the library, one has the freedom to explore our collection without worrying about business hours or even driving out to Lake Nona (and getting lost on occasion – we are located pretty far out!); what’s more convenient than that?
This is just scratching the surface, of course. Libraries are coming up with lots of great ways to get their patrons excited about the services they can provide. Three quick examples come to mind from right here in the state of Florida:
- The Orange County Public Library opened the Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation and Creativity, a 26,000 sq. ft. space in the downtown library that has all sorts of neat tools and rooms, including 3D printers and photography, audio, and video studios for patrons to use (we visited back in April). They also offer classes and events.
- The John C. Hitt library on UCF main campus recently added 3 KIC Book Scanners to their library space. No more bending back book spines to make a photocopy of something! With this Tech Fee-funded project, patrons can use the new scanners to make photocopies and send them immediately to themselves via email, Google Drive, fax, you name it. Of additional benefit is that since it is not a printer, the use of these devices is pretty Green considering how much paper can be saved.
- This week we heard that the University of South Florida libraries are going to start offering drone checkouts to their students this fall! Don’t expect to check one out just for fun, though – interested patrons need to have a legitimate research use for these devices.
We encourage you to get out to your local library and see what new things they have going on there for you. Chances are, it won’t be the same traditional location you remember!