Archive for July, 2011

Are Libraries still relevant?

In an age where it seems that everyone “googles” everything, why do we need public libraries?  Public libraries in general and the Delaware County District Library in particular continue to see a rise in use, number of materials checked out (and books are still the Library’s bread-and-butter), and questions asked.  Discussing the relevance of public libraries is complex and multi-layered, and certainly needs more time and space than this post allows.  However, let me give you one real life example of how vital Delaware Library is to our community

We recently had a customer who needed to purchase a new dishwasher.  He had Internet at home, so he “googled” Consumer Reports to find information, ratings and reviews.  He was dismayed to learn that when he clicked on the “Ratings and Reliability” and “Recommended” tabs on CI’s web site—the data he needed to make a wise purchase—he had to pay for the information.

So, he came to the Delaware County District Library to read the reviews in Consumer Reports on dishwashers.  When the librarian provided him with the magazine, he also referred the gentleman to “Consumer Reports Online,” a subscription database that provides all of the information available in the magazine and much more.  Needless to say, the customer was delighted to find out that he did not have to pay for the online ratings, and that he could even print or email them from the database.

This transaction perfectly illustrates the relevance of public libraries—providing quality information at no cost to our customers, buttressed by the expertise and skills of experienced librarians to help find the information.   “Consumer Reports Online” is a robust and valuable resource that you can access through the Library’s web site from any Internet computer and a great example of how the Library uses its funds wisely to help you use your funds wisely, too.

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