I want to start out by saying what a wonderful time we had hosting Ann, Camilla, Birgitta, Anja, and Catarina at BiblioTech. We had the opportunity to show them not only the work we are doing within our walls, with classes, technology, and individual assistance, but also the growing number of events and presentations that are going on beyond our physical walls, in the schools, on the military bases, and in the cloud, which is home to our entire collection of materials. We are a library in the sense that we provide access to information and promote lifelong learning, but I like to think that we are ahead of the curve by also incorporating technology into all aspects of our programming to instill the truth in our community that technology, good technology, has a place in our daily lives and had the potential to enhance every experience.
Technology isn’t just about games and social media, for many people, it can mean finding a job to better support their family, it can mean completing an online degree in a program that fits their goals without having to relocate, and for those who have special needs, it can mean access to literature that was previously inaccessible. Those are stories we hear most often at BiblioTech, which serves to confirm that libraries with a focus on technology have a place in our society.
What is interesting to me is that print materials aren’t going to disappear just because digital materials are trending, at least not anytime soon. What I see happening is that both materials are being used in situations according to their functionality. Ebooks are often the choice for travel, while print books are still being purchased to adorn the bookshelves in our homes, to reference when needed.
Digital textbooks are becoming the go-to for university students, while print books are still preferred when choosing a picture book to read with your children.
Technology is enhancing our everyday lives by providing access and options. I feel that librarians and other information professionals are on the forefront of this, as gatekeepers of information, because we provide free access to these resources. The library should be the first place our patrons go to ask questions. We need to be able to meet them with the answers, especially when the questions are about new technologies.
I could go on about this topic for quite a bit longer, but I’ll leave it at that.
Thank you ladies for inviting me to contribute to your blog with this post. I do hope that your experiences and the information you gathered during your stay in San Antonio serves you well in your own libraries and library consortia.