Thursday, March 29, 2012

Old meets New



      When many libraries were established in the early years of the United States the main concern was how to build a collection, how to avoid a fire, and how to provide ample lighting for the facility.  As time went on, technological advances created electrical lighting, central heat, better ways to avoid fire hazards, as well as a card catalog system for information retrieval.  Since we all know that time does not stand still, and technology continues to advance, our lives were changed by the introduction of computers.
      Computers have ultimately revolutionized libraries as we know them.  Computers have changed the way cataloging is done and how we retrieve information.  Indexing information is done through a catalog system that can also be accessed online from anywhere.  So what have all these modern transformations done to our libraries?  Older libraries have incurred a tremendous cost and burden to budgets for the updating of wiring to accommodate our latest technology.  Like schools, libraries have had to update antiquated wiring, install new cables, and hire technical personnel to keep things running smoothly.
      Is it all worth the time and expense?  Librarians now offer the capability to reach out to users from so many mediums, and provide them a plethora of information.  Librarians can chat and answer patron’s queries through IM, e-mail, telephone, blog, or even video chat.  Book clubs can be conducted with members over Skype and the only one that needs to be present at the actual library is the facilitator.  Members can enjoy and participate the discussion from the comfort of their own homes. As technology continues to advance we can only imagine where we will be as soon as the next ten years.  

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