Second New Year's resolution: More library programs—January 22, 2010
Resolution Number Two: Library Programs and Events. At the beginning of the year I wrote an article about my resolution for the library’s collections. Many of you responded to the article with feedback, suggestions and ideas and I sincerely appreciate all of your comments. With my second resolution, I am promising the community that the library will provide more information and recreation opportunities to you through programs and events.
I read an article not long ago regarding the future of libraries and the author stated that libraries are not about books, but about people. I believe this has always been true; our focus and mission has always been to serve the needs of people in our community. But I think this viewpoint is even more relevant in our changing society as I think about all the options you have when you need information. You can obtain information online from City and County resources that you used to need the library to provide. You can get some medical definitions or biographical information on people from the Internet that you used to rely on the library to provide. So with Google meeting many of your basic information needs relatively well, how does the library stay relevant in your life?
In thinking about the library being more about “people” than ever before, I believe it is our obligation to bring you information in various ways. Some people learn or acquire information by reading; some prefer a class or hands-on opportunities. So instead of the library focusing solely on providing only reading material, the library of today needs to add programs and classes as learning opportunities. Hastings Public Library has always provided some classes and programs as special opportunities arose such as an author traveling through Nebraska who gives a lecture or our favorite guitarist Peter Fletcher being invited by the Friends of the Hastings Public Library. And we’ve provided fun opportunities for community members to gather around events such as our pie contest last summer.
My resolution for the library and the community is to ensure that the library is planning well and utilizing resources appropriately to add more opportunities for learning and gathering in the coming year. My biggest dreams are for a movie club that views and discusses movies just as our book club discusses books. I want more story hours for children of working parents, and more family story hours like our annual bedtime story hour. I want basic, interesting computer classes for people who want to write a new resume or edit digital pictures. I want educational programs on global warming or stem cell research that offer multiple viewpoints on the topic.
The possibilities are endless, and I’m a big dreamer. So again, I invite your comments and feedback on these and other ideas. I want to hear your suggestions on what kind of programs or events you would like to attend at the library. Or if you have an interest in presenting a class at the library, please e-mail me. Together we can all build on our love of learning and ensure this library is always about people.