THE KEYBOARD COMMANDO – Libraries remain relevant in our online world, so utilize what they offer

Mac Olsen,
Smoky River Express


Last week, the Town of Falher and the Village of Donnelly officially cemented a new relationanship, the creation of a new inter-municipal library board.
The mayors and CAOs for both municipalities held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Falher Library to mark the occasion. As per the story I have written about the event on Page 7 in this week’s paper:
“(The) Town of Falher and Village of Donnelly agreed to join forces to help ensure sustainable regional library services, and received Ministerial approval to establish a new legal entity – the Falher Regional Intermunicipal Library Board, to continue to provide public library service for their residents and the surrounding area,” says a news release.
The Village of Girouxville is also becoming involved with the new inter-municipal library board, although details about that have not yet been released.
But the fact that all three municipalities are partnering for this new board is a sign that they see the delivery of improved library services to their residents as highly important.
It must also be noted that, late last year, Georges P. Vanier in Donnelly provided students with free library cards and they are encouraged to utilize the Falher Library.
Moreover, when we look at the big picture, the Falher Library and the McLennan Library are part of the Peace Library System. Besides providing an inter-library loan system, the PLS also offers all library cardholders access to electronic books and magazines.
It’s a simple as downloading the TRACpac app onto your device, plugging in your library card number and PIN, and then you can access a wide variety of publications. TRACpac also extends to other media formats, including Overdrive and Zinio for Libraries.
Check with the Falher Library or McLennan Library for more information about how to access these resources.
Until a few years ago, I never considered going the electronic route for reading books, magazines and newspapers. I always preferred the hard copy versions of those source materials.
Then, when I attended a workshop in McLennan about how to use an eReader, I began to understand that this was the future of media publishing.
At the time, I didn’t commit to embracing something like the Amazon Kindle device or apps because I wasn’t sure about their viability. But they appear to have matured and there are many books available in both the electronic and audio formats.
I also began to wonder if libraries with dedicated book and magazine collections had a future. I saw a documentary on the BBC a few years ago about how electronic library services are being promoted and utilized in the U.K. However, those services are complementary to the dedicated book and magazine collections, not a replacement for them.
What it comes down to is, while the electronic services we have now will continue to evolve, it’s unlikely that access to the physical hard copies of source materials will ever be eliminated. So we should never take them for granted and continue to access them.

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