Email received today:
Mobile digital technology has put information, music, movies – and even digital versions of books – right in the palm of your hand. In this age of unprecedented access, questions arise about the relevance of the public library. Even within the library profession, few would argue that the digital age has not been a major factor in the changing role of the public library in our communities.
The Oshkosh Public Library was closed for a week while new carpeting was installed on the first floor and lower levels. When the building reopened at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 22, the large group of people waiting at the entrance streamed in – and they just kept coming.
The library set an all-time circulation record that day, with 8,254 items checked out. That’s more than 11 items per minute. More than 2,500 people visited the library that day – more than double the 1,200 we see on a typical day. Throughout that incredibly busy Monday, the feeling of good cheer among our visitors was palpable. They missed coming to the library while we were closed and they were vocal about expressing that sentiment.
One library user posted on our Facebook page: “I think we were all in ‘Library withdrawal’. We needed a fix!”
Aug. 22 was more than just a feel-good moment for those who work at the library. It speaks volumes that the community still finds value at the library as a place to learn, a guide to the information highway and a community gathering place.
Head of Library Development