Libraries, of our present…
Libraries today still provide patrons with access to the treasures of their community, but those treasures now extend farther out into our world, and within a rapidly changing landscape. Our libraries have become powerful technological resources with the inclusion of: onsite computers, impressive portals, highly organized databases, and extensive digital collections. While today’s libraries still serve the purpose of housing and preserving, some believe their evolution with technology has made them even more powerful cores within our present society.
While our libraries ares till filled with bookshelves and books, they also now provide communities with online access, from within their four walls. Many modern patrons of the library visit, not for the books per se, but for the access to a computer. Ironically,the physical library has now expanded the world to some by giving them access to the vast World Wide Web, and its 80 billion pages of data (and growing daily).
Our present-day libraries are not just physical repositories anymore, but most have already created a storefront within the Digital Marketplace, offering patrons a new virtual experience, as well. As a result of early adaptation to the digitization movement, most libraries provide open Internet access to their collections, from outside their four walls, from anywhere, and any computer device. In addition, over 75% of public libraries now lend out ebooks, and 39.1% lend out ebook readers.
Whether inside the physical library using a computer onsite, or offsite accessing the library’s information retrieval system through a seamless portal, the amount of data (collections,volumes, archives, etc.) has exponentially increased, not only in quantity, but also quality. Library databases are highly organized, and provide patrons with quick access to rich content that might otherwise take hours to find through random searches on their own.
Sample partial library databases (of digitized and rich metadata tagged content) include:
- American Newspapers – electronic editions of hundreds of local,regional and national U.S. newspapers
- Ancestry Library – 450 million digitally enhanced census records from the U.S. Federal Census
- Automobile Repair Reference Center – all automobile makes and models from 1945 to present, how to repair, maintenance schedules, recalls, etc.
- Biography in Context – biographical details and images on 500,000+
- History in Context – historical contextual online collection
- Books &Authors – background, themes and origins of books and their authors.
- Health & Wellness – medical publications, information on diseases,drugs, and healthy living.
- Legal Forms Database – 1000’s of legal forms: federal, state, business,personal, real estate, etc.
- Transparent Language Online – online learning system for 80 languages.
“Libraries are not made;they grow.” – Augustine Birrell
Public Libraries: Freee books available at your public library!