2017-07-14 / Letters

Libraries are part of the future, not the past

Even in our internet age, it’s hard to imagine there are people who believe that libraries are obsolete or somehow secondary to commerce.

Sure, digital information is easy for many people to access— for others, not so much.

More importantly, libraries are the core of a community in a way that solitary “cloud” life is not.

Witness our Moorpark Library. Right now, our staff succeeds in providing programs that far exceed the book storehouse of the past in a space that challenges their considerable inventiveness to provide both quiet areas and more energetic community learning activities.

In fiscal year 2015-2016, we had more than 113,000 individual visits.

We offered 489 programs, including the Positive Parenting Program, writers’ workshops, authors’ readings and book signings, Little Bilingual Program, English conversation and literacy tutoring, discussion events, hands-on technology and arts, and book clubs—a mere few of the wide-ranging services to young and old.

Teen volunteers, for example, learn the principles of library organization and management, skills that will be invaluable on resumes for college and work life.

Our library has not only kept up with technology, we’ve embraced it.

We’ve had almost 26,000 downloads of books and magazines, downloads that don’t cost a dime.

We’ve facilitated 17,000 computer sessions for those who otherwise may not have internet access—25 percent of the population do not own a computer.

Virtual reality technology will soon be accessible—did you see the June 23 Moorpark Acorn article?

Once again, staff will overcome the limits of space and configuration to provide this technology in the teen area and eventually to all patrons by reservation.

Finally, libraries are the community’s gift to itself, its opportunity for life-long learning, free at the point of service.

Their value is evidenced by thousands of volunteer hours and financial support.

Libraries have been around for millennia, dating back over 4,000 years. I’d be willing to bet they weren’t just storehouses for stone tablets, papyrus and scrolls.

I can just see scholars, students and philosophers learning, teaching and enriching the culture of their ages, long before there were formal schools and universities.

So, that’s how I see our library. The new, expanded, state-of-the-art Moorpark Library can’t come soon enough for me.

Rosalie Barili

Barili is a member of the Moorpark Friends of the Library.

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