By Ashley Prince
Circulation Clerk – Midland Public Library
Public libraries have come a long way over the years. It’s not your stereotypical older lady, hair in a tight grey bun, staring over her horned rimmed glasses, telling you to “shhh”. That public library is long gone. Somehow though, when many people think about the library, that’s the first thought that comes to mind. Even I, myself, had these thoughts before I started working in libraries.
Libraries are so much more than just dusty books and cranky old ladies. Libraries are gathering hubs for communities. More and more libraries are making their spaces more creative and livelier for people of all ages by improving digital literacy, you will see a shift in how libraries are perceived in the future.
There is nothing wrong with signing out a good book to read. I too still prefer sliding my fingers along the pages, and smelling the fresh woody scent of a new book. However, when people say that the children are our future, they are telling the truth. Technology for children seems to be starting younger and younger. Libraries are finding ways to tap into this resource. For example, Midland Public Library has a Facebook page and Twitter feed where they post about library news, upcoming programs, and just topics of general interest. Technology is being used to get the word out about the library and what is offered.
We at Midland Public Library are working to deliver more programming that taps into technology. Recently we did a Minecraft day which is a video game where children, teens, and adults alike mine their own blocks and then build villages and various terrain out of them. You can build your own tools, plant a farm, harvest food, have animals, and there is even a survival mode where you fend for yourself against other players, hunger, and various other types of danger. It is a game where the players are forced to use their minds – learning problem solving skills. This game is so popular and educational that the company has released an education version of it for teachers to use in their classrooms to help with their lesson plans. You will see Minecraft stations at the Midland Public Library in our soon to be opened new Tween space.
Libraries are so much more than books. We continue to grow and change with Midland. We are working to respond better to the needs of our community. We are here to connect you to the world, to help you grow and prosper. We invite you to come by the Midland Public Library and grow with us!