What role should a local library play in the so-called Digital Age?
Like libraries across the country, we at Skene are wrestling with that question.
Certainly, our purpose remains what it always has been—to be a repository of knowledge and information, of the legacy of the past and of contemporary creativity, of the tools needed to succeed in our democracy, of the books and periodicals and music and movies that provide pleasure and ignite the imagination. That hasn’t changed since the first public library opened in Boston in 1852 with an inscription over the door proclaiming “Free to All.”
What is changing, however, is the form in which so many of those treasures may now be accessed, and that in turn is changing the way people interact with all these treasures. Like so many small-town libraries, the Skene today must try to meet user needs that run the gamut from physical books and DVDs to e-books and research through digital platforms. In short, we’re encountering a new model of library use, and we believe we must make sure that the new model and the old reinforce one another. The enclosed questionnaire is our way of asking for your help as we plan how to do that.
We know we can count on you to give the questions your thoughtful consideration. We hope to tally the results and report what we’ve learned by summer’s end.
In the meantime, we want to remind you of our summer hours—10am-3pm Monday through Friday, 10am-1pm Saturday—and of our summer programs for children. This year, the programs will include forays into hands-on arts and crafts and jewelry-making, as well as into natural history and the environment—all presented by experts in their respective fields who know how to make kids love their subjects as much as they do.
In addition, we are beginning now to plan “grown-up” programs for the fall.
And as we tend to do at this time of year, we also ask for your financial support. Like so many public institutions, we of course face budget pressures that your contribution may help alleviate. But above all, we’d like to think of your donation as your affirmation that the Skene Library has a vital role to play in our community. Please help us fulfill that role by returning both the questionnaire and your tax-deductible contribution, payable to Skene Memorial Library. Please click here to download the contribution form and the questionnaire.
With thanks in advance,
The trustees of the Skene