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The Role of Libraries in the 21st Century

Hi Folks:

When we were young, getting one’s own library card was both a big adventure and a big responsibility. We (okay, mostly Mike) have what some would call an unhealthy attachment to books to this day. But in this day of smart phones, tablets and streaming video, some question the continuing relevance of libraries. We beg to differ, and this post is, in essence, a letter of appreciation to libraries.

We each have two library cards right now. One is a Community card for the libraries at the University of Victoria. It’s free to everyone, and although we haven’t used them a lot, they do give us access to books and things at the university libraries. As both of us have spent countless hours researching/writing in such libraries, these do bring back memories!

The other cards we have are with the Greater Victoria Public Library system. These we use a lot, and we’re continually surprised that more people don’t avail themselves of the many services offered by the Victoria libraries. A partial list includes:

  • Books. That one’s a given. It is a library, after all. This includes inter-library loans from other branches, and includes both books of fiction across any number of genres and reference books/ periodicals. Need to see a Chilton wiring manual for your 1979 Datsun 280ZX? They have one. 🙂
  • Newspapers and magazines. A variety of daily, weekly, monthly… publications.
  • CDs/DVDs/Audiobooks. Movies, documentaries, music and much more.

Not so in love with tangible stuff anymore? (this is the 21st century) Okay, how about:

  • Zinio. Free access to over 440 digital magazines.
  • indieflix. Free access to thousands of shorts, indie films, features and documentaries from over 50 countries.
  • Hoopla. Movie/TV/E-book downloads and more – 12 downloads/month.
  • Mango Languages. Close to 50 courses in 23 different languages.
  • E-Books. Thousands of titles accessible via either OverDrive or 3M Cloud Library.

That doesn’t include ongoing events like seminars, lecture series, storytime, baby time, computer training courses… the list goes on and on. If you’d like to celebrate local authors there’s also the library’s 2015 Emerging Local Authors Collection: 172 titles independently published by more than 150 Victoria residents between 2010 and 2014 (including Marcia’s book – see the top right of this page). Submissions for the next year’s event close January 15, 2016. See Emerging Local Authors for more information on the 2015 submissions and guidelines for submitting to the 2016 event.

Doesn’t that sound like a magical place to be?

Hugs,
M&M

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