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The public library is one of the most important education centers in the United States. Besides a library’s vast collection of great literature and academic stimuli, the modern library also provides technical knowledge and service, from free Internet to multimedia resources.
Technology and Learning
For those with vast Internet experience, capabilities and knowledge, the addition of technology to the modern library is an added benefit that helps in research and discovery. To those that are without the luxury of the Internet and advanced computer technology at home, the library can offer not only an education in literature, but also a quantum leap in understanding the computer, the Internet and how to gain information from worldwide sources.
Contrary to popular opinion, there is still a significant percentage of the population that does not experience the Internet at home. With libraries offering internet services along with technical support in some areas, those that are computer-challenged have a chance to learn the basics of how to search and gain information quickly and easily. With free internet access and programs to help with basic computer use, the modern library adds a completely new dimension to learning and searching information to students of all ages.
Libraries as Information Centers
Today’s librarians are well trained in the use of the Internet and how to search and gain information. As they help and guide library users in the skills of intelligent computer and Internet use, this becomes another advantage of the modern library and its many resources to help advance education in the local community.
Although a vast collection of books and reading materials will always be important and irreplaceable in the continued push for literacy and culture, the use of computers and technology is an absolute necessity in the aspect of today’s learning modes and access of information.
Coffee Shop, Learning Resource Centre, Edge Hill University (Photo credit: jisc_infonet)
Libraries as Media Centers
One aspect of modern libraries that is becoming prevalent is the use of media and arts as learning tools. From podcasts to videos to LCD screens with continual information, the library is becoming an outstanding tool for media learning. Librarians are becoming quite skilled in many aspects of media, as libraries continue to grow in computer and media experiences for library-goers. Online library use has grown tremendously and library websites are an important destination point for users who can’t always make it to the library itself.
Because modern society is so information based, the library has become a bastion of finding information, continued learning, and skilled technology in the 21st century. Yet, when all is said and done, even in today’s modern and advanced world, there is still nothing that can quite beat curling up in a favorite chair with a terrific book.
And, happily, that is still quite modern.