Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Community has access to more than books

By the Advocate Editorial Board
March 21, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated March 20, 2013 at 10:21 p.m.

Libraries conjure a certain image. People often think of a musty smell, the Dewey Decimal System, card catalogues, microfilm readers and strict librarians shushing everyone.

But modern libraries can be very different from the Hollywood image most people remember, and the Victoria Public Library is shaking up that image even more. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the library will be hosting Late Night at the Library from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Library staff will dim the lights, rearrange the furniture and create an atmosphere that offers a place to relax and hang out, complete with free coffee, Communication Services Manager Jessica Erebia said.

"We want to open the doors to someone who hasn't been here in a while or to new people," she said. "There's no schedule. We just want to hang out."

We agree, this is a great chance for residents to come out and explore the library in a relaxed, social environment. In today's world, where the Internet offers an endless supply of information, the library has become an overlooked resource, but there is much more in the Victoria library than a bunch of old books.

Residents can find a myriad of offerings there, from the latest movie, TV series and music album releases available for checkout to free Wi-Fi, Erebia said. There is also a gaming station where visitors can play video games, and for those who enjoy reading books with a more digital touch, the library offers the Overdrive checkout system, which lets residents download up to five e-books for free - much like checking out a book - and return them after 21 days. Computer stations are also available if visitors do not have their own laptop, as well as computer training classes, and the library is also working to implement a system in which visitors can check out a laptop, e-reader or iPad to use inside the library.

"Like anything else, we are changing and evolving," Erebia said, stressing the library works to keep up with the latest and greatest materials available.

It is clear the library is still an important resource in our community. We encourage the community to take this chance to enjoy a calm, pressure-free atmosphere and explore our public library. Through their hard work, the library staff has made sure this is still a helpful, relevant and important offering for Victoria, and we hope residents will be able to see this for themselves.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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