In an era of digital media, like Kindles and I-Pads, you might think libraries are going the way of the dinosaurs. But, the Sioux City Public Library is embracing the change, and using new technology to bridge the "digital divide."
You would think if a library offers books online for download, that would hurt business, but it's doing the reverse at the Wilbur Aalfs branch in Sioux City. "It has been a worry for the library, what the e-books were gonna do. But, especially the e-books have been bringing people back into the library as much as anything," said Troy Jennings, technical manager, Wilbur Aalfs Library.
Troy Jennings who works at the Wilbur Aalfs branch says putting books online allows the library to hold more book titles over time. Another way the library is embracing the future -- making its databases available online. Jennings tells us, the Internet can be a useful source for research, but often, databases have more information. For example, auto repair. "You can find information on a specific type of car but we can actually find you the actual wiring diagram," Jennings said.
You can even come into a branch for help. The downtown location offers special sessions with experts to help people download e-books onto a digital device, such as a Kindle or an I-Pad. They can also try to help troubleshoot smartphones, notebooks, or similar devices all for free. And the word is getting out. "Sometimes we get people who will bring their friends in that have the same problem or they can't figure it out as well, we get a lot of referrals that way," Amanda Hughes, library specialist, said.
And even with these new add-ons, a Sioux City library cards is still free. You can use the card to access the library from any computer. To sign-up for a card, stop inside your local branch, bring a government ID and a proof of address.
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