Released: January 29, 2013 By Kathryn Zickuhr Our new report takes a close look not only at how Americans are using public libraries, but also what sort of services and programming they think libraries should offer — and what they say they would use in the future.For this last point, we asked about a range of potential offerings, including online “ask a librarian”-type research service, mobile library apps, library kiosks in the community, and pre-loaded e-readers available for checkout.
The New River Library branch of the Pasco County Library System in Florida has Teen Technology Tutors who receive volunteer hours by tutoring older adults (ages 50+) one-on-one in beginning computer tasks. Covington Memorial Library in Mississippi offers “One-On-One Basic Computer Training For Visually Impaired (& Sighted) Individuals.” “In 2008, the Contra Costa County Library [in California] launched ‘Library-a-Go-Go,’ the first automated book dispensing machines in the country.
The machines hold up to 400 books which can be browsed from a touch screen.
The book dispensaries at available 24/7 and operate like ATM machines with a swipe of a library card to dispense books.
In the library’s meeting room, 12 different devices are available to try out with a librarian on hand to explain their features and detail the differences between various devices.” The Skokie Public Library in Illinois “offers a digital media lab, a space with content creation tools that allow patrons to create and share video, music, photography, and design projects.
Customers have access to computers with editing software, cameras, camcorders, microphones, and musical keyboards.
Additionally, the Skokie media lab has a green screen wall for video projects.” According to the American Library Association, 35% of U. public libraries offer one-on-one technology and/or research help with library staff.The Arapahoe Library District in Colorado offers Book-a-Librarian help in English, Spanish and Russian.To that end, we’ve collected examples of many of the types of services mentioned in the report, as well as some “fun and funky” services that we’ve seen pop up at libraries across the county.We’ll keep updating the list with new examples as we hear about them.Does your library have a neat service we should know about? And many thanks to everyone who has sent in examples so far.The Kent Free Library in Ohio “has hosted ‘Technology Petting Zoos’ to give patrons and community members a chance to have hands-on interaction with a variety of tablets and e-readers.