Local libraries are adopting modern methods.
Libraries are known to be some of the quietest places on earth. Bookshelves are full, and there’s no chatter to be heard.
Justin Sheppard has been going to the library for a long time now but he doesn’t necessarily go for the books.
“(I’ve been going to the library) for over 10 years or more,” said Sheppard. “I usually go for movies and especially since there are not many video stores left.”
Leigha Chiasson-Locke is a regional librarian at the A.C Hunter Public Library in St. John’s. She says libraries are beginning to target a new audience.
“The new direction I think that a lot of libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador are moving into, is sort of the idea as being a lifelong learning community hub,” said Locke. “We are sort of shifting away as being perceived as being a house of books.”
According to a CBC article posted in 2016, libraries in the province circulated more than 160,000 e-books and logged 269,361 computer sessions.
Locke also says libraries in the province are making some innovative moves to try to distinguish themselves.
“What it looks like is offering services outside of just our collections, which are books for example – but also looking at programming,” ,” said Locke. “Programming is a big thing, like offering learning opportunities, so sometimes that could be creating partnerships with schools, universities and colleges.”
Libraries provide the community with more than just books.
“We also offer yoga, mediation, zumba, dance classes and all of this is for free,” she said. “Libraries are increasingly becoming a place where they can teach you a skill and reinforce skills.”
While it seems like libraries are moving in a different direction, Justin Sheppard has heard a theory about libraries that he thinks could be in the near future.
“I believe the world will eventually go paperless,” said Sheppard. “It’s more convenient for someone to turn on their phone or computer and just read everything that way.”