Welcome to the Goshen County Library website. Beautiful, isn’t it? Our new web presence is just one of the many changes we have been making in the library this year. As our regular patrons can tell you, we have rearranged our entire collection, made a few changes to our policies, flirted with social media, and are on an outreach campaign to bring literature and programming to our community. Libraries are odd places. On the one hand, anyone will tell you that libraries are dead. The internet has taken over and the need for libraries has diminished to point of obsolescence. On the other hand, anyone will tell you that the library is the heart of the community-whether it is a school, city, or county. Why do we love our libraries while still mourning their eventual demise?
Technology is an amazing thing. Using technology we can reach out and touch someone via texts, messaging, email. We can call friends and family from just about anywhere and we can conduct business from our cars as well as if we had an actual office. Heck, our cars are better than offices, they come with drive-up food delivery! Books are available electronically- both the print and audio versions. We can even watch television programs on our portable devices. So, again, why do we need a brick and mortar building to house all this information? Well, funny you should ask.
Libraries and librarians are some of the first to embrace emerging technology. We use it to help us help our patrons. Need to print your insurance card from your email, but can’t remember your password? No problem, just access your mail from your phone and we will use our wi-fi enabled printer to help you get on the road, again. Heard about a book from a friend, but can’t remember the title or author? We gotcha. Give us a few minutes and some clues and we will go online and hunt it down for you. Chances are, we already have it or can get it for you in a few days. Need to create a resume and upload it to a company’s website? No worries, we will have you looking good in no time. New to the area and need help finding your way around? Then you have come to the right place, because if we don’t know the answer, we certainly know who to ask.
As amazing as technology is, though, not everything available through social media sites or online webpages is necessarily accurate or even real. Trying to locate a specific piece of information can be time consuming and frustrating. When you do find the information, how do you know the source is especially credible? Libraries and librarians can help take away the uncertainty and assist you in finding the information you need and can trust. Libraries purchase books from reputable publishers and subscribe to verifiable data sources. When we say a book is appropriate for small children, you know we have been through it and made sure. Need information on an embarrassing health issue? We have a book you can read with facts- no small print and no nasty side effects. Ask your doctor. Trying to find forms or learn how to take care of some legal matters yourself? We have those available and won’t even ask personal questions-even though we are dying to know!
When you look around town, you will see library staff members out and about trying to connect with folks in a variety of ways. You may see us with a table at the health fair, reading to children at the daycare, visiting schools to encourage the students to read during the summer, dropping off books at the care center for seniors who want to expand their world or just need a friendly face to stop by, or even giving out candy at the Halloween parade just because we like to dress up in costumes and eat candy.
Art displays, family events, guest speakers, local author talks, meeting rooms, new books, up-to-date magazines, electronic books, audio books, the past, the present, the future, where else can you get all this in one place? Irrelevant? Out dated? Pshaw. Try vibrant, fluid, dependable, welcoming, and (dare we say it?) significant!
If you haven’t visited your local library in a while, now may be the time. Come see what we have to offer and make up your own mind- a dying breed of the past or a shining light of good things to come?
See you soon,
Director of the Goshen County Library