Enjoying a good book is a great feeling. Some relish the feeling of holding a physical book in their hand. The unmistakable scent of an old book is something that many book lovers cherish. But some people now prefer the simplicity of reading a book on an electronic device. Digital natives – those who have grown up with and have become dependent on technology – have often had less interaction with physical books in their lifetime and sometimes don’t exhibit the same preferences. As time passes, more and more of us are being born into a world where technology is unavoidable. The youngest of us today will never know a world without the internet. But public libraries can still play a critical role in advancing a culture of reading regardless of how easily accessible the internet can make information.
There are three core missions that most librarians would agree are the foundation of any library: anchoring communities, offering access to information, and promoting reading. When libraries offer community support and provide a means of access to information, members of the community are far more likely to pick up a book and discover (or rediscover) a love of reading.
The head of libraries in Washington DC boasts that her libraries are “places on contact, community, and pride.” This perfectly embodies the way that great libraries act as valuable community centers. This means hosting valuable events and meetings that enrich and serve the surrounding area. Libraries can provide a place of comfort and refuge. Within 48 hours of Hurricane Sandy arriving in the New York City area, 87 branches of the New York Public Library were open. Libraries truly are a critical component of a well-functioning community.
For those who may not have access to the internet at home, libraries can provide the free and easy ability to connect. Some patrons (especially those in older demographics) may not have internet access at home and rely on the public library for connectivity. Thankfully, internet access is becoming easier to obtain – largely due to advances in mobile technology. Across different income brackets, younger people especially are finding a way to get a smartphone into their hands and, consequently, connectivity. But for those without it, libraries are a welcome help.
And once your patrons are in the library for an event or meeting or to use the library’s resources to gather information, their likelihood of grabbing a book (or five) on their way out has greatly increased.Recommended reading tables often help draw the attention of folks who may not have intended to come into the library to borrow a book. Book groups also might help direct patrons to a subject that piques their interest.
What if you could find a way to replicate these phenomena on a broader scale? You can.
With a Boopsie custom mobile app for your library, you can interact with your patrons more than ever before. An app will enable you to more directly and comprehensively communicate with your community about the various goings-on in your local library, which will increase the likelihood that they’ll stop by (and check out some books). Furthermore, you can include your own ‘Recommended Reading’ lists right within your app and show your community how fun reading can be.
Over 4,000 Boopsie libraries worldwide love their custom Boopsie app! Contact Boopsie for more information about how your library can help promote a culture of reading in your community. Schedule a demo of our public library apps here.