By Jackilyn Roseberry, Library Director
When I tell people I work at the library, I generally get one of two responses, “I love the library! I/we go there all the time!” Or the infamous, “Wow, I haven’t been to the library in years!” If you fall into the latter category, you may be wondering if libraries are still important to have in your community in the era of Google and Amazon.
We are happy to tell you yes, libraries are not only still vital but also loved and valued.
The Fremont Area District Library had 62,585 visitors in 2019 and 22,068 computer sessions. We checked-out 90,295 physical items and 13,336 digital items. We hosted 168 programs with 3,454 attendees.
That’s great for Fremont, but how are all public libraries doing in the technology age? The honest response is that libraries are thriving. According to the most recent Annual Institute of Museum and Library Services Report, libraries are visited 1.3 billion times a year which is 10 times more than MLB, NFL, NBA, Hockey, and NASCAR combined.
Libraries provide a safe place for the public. You are never expected to spend any money when you come in – you are welcome to just sit down and read the paper or maybe a magazine while you relax and enjoy the air conditioning in the summer or the heat in the winter.
For those of you thinking you are not interested in the resources/services/materials mentioned, you might be wondering why the public library should be important to you. One reason is that close proximity to a public library increases the value of your home. According to a study conducted in Pennsylvania published in 2010, libraries are responsible for $698 million in home values in Philadelphia alone.
People often take for granted having access to a public library, but there are 55 townships and parts of townships in Michigan that are not so fortunate. Those citizens may visit the closest library to their location only to find that they need to purchase a library card (the cost varies greatly by library but can often be more than $100/year). These “non-resident” cards usually only grant you partial access to the library’s resources.
The mission of the Fremont Area District Library is, “To provide resources and technology that inspire lifelong learning, challenge the imagination, and foster enjoyment.” We strive to not only preserve and maintain our services and materials but also to expand and grow them to meet the diverse and changing needs of our patrons now and in the future.
If you haven’t been to the library in a while, you’ll notice a lot of new things and services you didn’t know about before. So what are you waiting for? Come on over – we can’t wait to see you at the library.
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“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
- Eric Qualman