Public libraries are much more than just books. They are a staple within the community, offering free and equal access to information for everyone.
Since 1958, the American Library Association has sponsored National Library Week in April, usually during the second full week of the month. This year National Library Week falls on the week of April 12 to18. It is a week dedicated to celebrating all types of libraries – public, school, academic, and special – and the wonderful contributions they give to the community.
The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) enhances the quality of life in our community by serving as a life-long educational resource and fostering the free exchange of ideas. JMRL offers a wide variety of resources to the public, including job search assistance, public computers, homework help for students, online databases, various programs for adults, teens and kids, and of course, books. JMRL patrons have access to a collection of about 500,000 books, 54,000 ebooks, 25,000 audiobooks, and 32 online databases. This collection is growing bigger every day.
While there is speculation that the internet age will render libraries obsolete, the internet is more of a compliment to the library than a replacement. In 2014, JMRL checked out more books than ever before. And, believe it or not, the internet does not have all of the information that is available throughout the world. Also, some of the information that is on the internet is not free. The library gives people free access to materials online that require a subscription account. The library pays for access to these materials so that the public does not have to pay for information.
JMRL, like many public libraries, strives to keep up with the times. For example, every library in the JMRL system has WiFi, self-checkout stations, and computers that are available for use by the public. Last year 126,435 people used the public computers available at JMRL branches. People often use the computers to search for jobs, access online government services, type resumes and cover letters, and create and use email accounts. Additionally, JMRL offers training to keep people up-to-date on current technology.
In the spirit of National Library Week, stop by your local branch of JMRL or visit www.jmrl.org to find out more about the many programs and services that the library has to offer to the community.