When you hear the word ‘library’ what is the first word that comes to mind? For some it’s books, for others it’s free, but for me, it’s community. When I was younger, I saw the library mainly as a place to simply check out books, study, or use a computer. Over the years, I noticed that as technology advanced and needs evolved, libraries transformed themselves into engaging community centers. One can still go to borrow a book, study, or use a computer, but now patrons can also learn how to code, download music, use a 3-D printer, make a music video, learn how to publish a book, check out garden tools and seeds, or even check out a human person! However, much of the content being produced by, at, or in conjunction with, the library, gets locked behind the doors once the library closes. What happens to that locally produced or unique content when the individual completes their project using library resources?
ODILO partners with libraries to make local digital content more readily accessible to the entire community. Whether eBooks, music, scholarly papers, local history documents, libraries can now provide easy access for anyone to discover and enjoy their neighbor’s creation. Check out how one ODILO customer, IndyReads, makes their local content easily discoverable to their patrons.
If you Google “makerspace” and “public library,” you are instantly provided with more than 127,000 results. Granted, there aren’t that many libraries in the world, but such a search goes to show at how libraries continue to talk about, develop, or just ponder the evolution through new technology. Many libraries are reinventing library space to offer community members access to 3D printers, high-tech video equipment, green screens, musical instruments, and editing software. Yet, despite all the new technologies added into these maker spaces, much, if not all of the content created by the patron leaves with the patron. What if it didn’t have to?
NURTURING THE ARTS
From developing writing clubs to sharing the love of music through live performances, many libraries offer community members various ways of bringing out their creative juices. New York Public Library’s Writers Workshops connect published authors with those wanting to write a novel, play, or poem. Next month, Chicago Public Library launches the ChiTeen Lit Fest aiming to “provide a safe and creative space for young adults to unlock and discover their unique voice through literary arts”. And almost every library makes music a part of programming today, both for kids and adults. As Jamie LaRue, Director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom and former Director of Douglas County Libraries (CO), wrote in an October 2014 article, “self-publishing represents the future of literature.” Did you know that books such as The Martian, Still Alice, and Fifty Shades of Grey were all self-published? Self-published content is estimated to be 50-75% of published material today (Holley), leaving many writers to find creative ways to get the word out about their book. And music? With so many streaming sites and choices, musicians struggle to push their music to the masses. What if they didn’t have to?
Visit any local library and you are bound to find a section of the library dedicated to the local history of the region and state. Some libraries use that space to focus on genealogy while others use it to share photographs, newspaper clippings, and other relevant content to local history. With the advancements in technology resulting in a decrease in cost, some libraries have moved all of this content online while others still struggle with the cost. What if they didn’t have to?
DISCOVER LOCAL CONTENT
In addition to offering over one million eBooks and eAudiobooks, ODILO’s digital content platform also offers a true community solution. Imagine being able to bring community-developed content to the masses, such as:
- Poems, short stories, novels, and plays
- Locally-produced music singles and albums
- eAudio and eVideo interviews with local citizens highlighting the history of the community
- eVideo of local programming, making content available to patrons anytime, anywhere
- Documents, photographs, and blueprints from the community from the beginning of the century until today
- Maps of the community
No longer do libraries have to concern themselves with the high cost, hassle, and maintenance of operating a server. ODILO takes care of this for you.
Since the Library Company of Philadelphia was founded in 1731 until today, libraries continue to be the hub of their community; a place to learn, engage, and enhance one’s knowledge. As technology advances and libraries collaborate with even more community members to develop their own content, isn’t it time to make that valuable and unique content available to everyone?
Interested in learning more about easily providing local digital content to your community? Email Mark or visit ODILO at PLA, TLA, or ALA Annual and enjoy a quick demo!
Other helpful links:
Holley, R. P. (2014) Self-publishing: A new challenge for Universal Bibliographic Control. Paper presented at IFLA WLIC 2014 – Lyon – Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 86 – Cataloguing with Bibliography, Classification, Indexing and UNIMARC Strategic Programme. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France