Local media provides excellent outlet for spreading the message of libraries

Libraries in suburban Chicago were recently spotlighted in the Daily Herald, a suburban newspaper.

The article shows how libraries can use local media to focus attention on the central role of libraries in their communities.

In this article, reporter Matt Arado, wrote, “Playing video games on the Xbox. Learning how to make crepes. Applying for a U.S. passport.

Katie LaMantia, teen librarian, and IT Department Technician Terry Nolan hook up computers in the teen center at the Schaumburg Township District Library. Photo by Mark Welsh, courtesy of the Daily Herald

“Different activities, yes, but with one thing in common: All can take place in a suburban public library.”

Arado also focused on the role of libraries in transforming their communities.

He wrote, “But library administrators say that, in fact, use of libraries has never been more robust. They say libraries have changed with the times, transforming themselves into vital community centers that provide access not just to books, but also new technology and recreational programs.”

A number of libraries are featured, including the Ela Area Public Library, located in an unincorporated area near Lake Zurich, Ill.

“Our basic role is the same as it always has been — we’re a conduit between the public and the world of information that exists out there,” said Matt Womack, executive director of the Ela Area Public Library. “What’s changed is how we fill that role.”

In addition, American Library Association (ALA) President Maureen Sullivan was quoted in the article, talking about how the popularity of libraries can be traced in part to libraries’ early readiness to “bridge the digital divide.”

She said, “Libraries did a fantastic job early on realizing that not everyone in their communities would have personal access to the Internet,” Sullivan said. “Providing that was a vital service to so many people.”

Arado also noted, “More recently, she said, the economic downturn drove people to their libraries, where they could look for jobs online, work on resumes and, in many cases, receive job-hunting assistance from staff members.”

Beneath the article on the Daily Herald website are several positive comments.

In addition, there is a video of Arado talking about the article on one of the Chicago television stations, ABC Channel 7.

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