Build Community

Libraries Now: A Day in the Life

A documentary about the role of New York branch libraries play in the lives of community members, as well as the struggle for the future of New York's branch libraries, by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks.

Libraries are community hubs. In addition to connecting people to information, libraries connect people to people. They are safe havens for kids when school is not in session, offering after school homework help, games and book clubs. Libraries offer computer classes, enabling older adults stay engaged in a digital world. Bookmobiles and community outreach programs keep those living in remote areas or those who are homebound connected to the larger community. 

Public libraries also help communities cope with the unexpected. The rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has many public libraries struggling to keep up with the demand for public computer terminals and with requests for help in using the act’s website. Libraries also play a key role in the wake of natural disasters; after Hurricane Sandy, for example, people left homeless by the storm were filling libraries in New York and New Jersey, using library computers to complete federal forms and communicating with loved ones using the library’s internet connections.

 

Video games and libraries are a good mix, say librarians

Walk into any public library and, of course, you see books, reference materials, newspapers, magazines, and all types of the printed word. We might also see comic books, manga, and less traditional “literature.” These days, we encounter film, television, music, internet-connected computers, and other digital media. But video games?

Libraries lend video games, and they have been for some time. Some folks might think video games have no place in public institutions. Some articles on the web assume that readers will cringe when they hear that this is happening.  Libraries and librarians, however, seem to overwhelmingly support the practice.

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