The Relevancy of Libraries in Today’s Digital World

digital world background

Much has been said, and continues to be said, about how libraries are transforming themselves to remain relevant in today’s information-rich and technology-driven society. User-centered planning, services, and collection development; innovative library spaces; remote access to resources; and social media participation – these are only a few of the responses to the internet age that are reshaping the 21st century library.

Lately, I’ve been pondering specifically about the importance of  libraries as social and economic equalizers in today’s digital environment. A democratic society promotes equal opportunity as well as equal access. It is even more important these days for libraries to provide information  and access to those who may not otherwise have the means or circumstances to keep up with current technologies critical for functioning in many areas of today’s society. Something as basic as sending an e-mail for you and I can be a challenge for others. By providing such services as  free internet access and workshops that teach digital literacy of all sorts, libraries enable many individuals to function more successfully and competitively in our current environment, which in turn gives them more opportunities to pursue. That’s the kind of empowerment  libraries can offer.

I love having people walk into my public library with a new e-reader or tablet and saying, “I got this as a gift but I don’t know how to use it. I thought maybe the library could show me.”

And that is just one of the myriad of reasons libraries are still relevant today.