Celebrate 10 Years at the JKPL
Ten years is both a long time, and a short time. It seems like a long time when you look back and see all of the changes that have taken place, but it usually feels like it was just yesterday. It is hard to believe that the Dyersville community has been using the “new” James Kennedy Public Library facility for ten years, but it is a fact. The Grand Opening for JKPL was held on April 28, 2002 so we will be celebrating ten years this Saturday.
It doesn’t feel like we have been here ten years, and we still think of it as the “new” library, but at the same time there have been a lot of changes. Probably the biggest change in libraries everywhere is in the use of technology. Ten years ago, the JKPL had a collection of print books that we used all the time to find information for people – the reference collection. Young people would come to the library to find facts for reports and adults would ask for information on topics of interest. Now most people rely on Google or Wikipedia or other online resources for finding this type of information. It is fast, easy, and you can do it at any time of day. And the information can be very current, where with print resources you had to wait for things to be published. The only negative – you have to be careful that the information is correct because anyone can put anything on the Internet. The result - today the JKPL no longer has a reference collection.
How have computers changed? The big systems went to desktops, then laptops, then netbooks, now many are using tablets that they carry everywhere. Ten years ago, reading almost always referred to a print item – a book, magazine or newspaper. Now, especially in the last year, people are downloading books to their computers, laptops, eReaders and smart phones. They have one device that they take everywhere and this one device can hold hundreds of books and, depending on what it is, can also be used to take pictures, surf the web, play music, play games, and talk to friends.
What about music and audiobooks? Ten years ago we listened to cassette tapes, then it was compact discs, now we are using MP3 and downloads to computers and devices. Films were available on beta or VHS; then it was DVD, now it is blu-ray and Netflix or other streaming services. Who can keep up?
All of these changes have resulted in changes in what a library facility needs. The JKPL no longer has an area for reference books; instead we have opened that area up and will be reorganizing to move the public access computers to that space. We have added collections like Wii games and board games and soon will have puppets and puzzles for you to check out. The room where the computers are will become a small conference room.
The JKPL has become much more of a community center. People use the library as a place to gather, meet, and learn. The library provides programs for different ages and interests practically every day – movies, speakers, presentations, classes, demonstrations, story times, clubs, gaming events, and more. A library reflects the needs and expectations of their community so the JKPL will continue to change and grow just as the Dyersville community changes and grows.
Join us in celebrating ten years as the James Kennedy Public Library by stopping in on Saturday, April 28 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Come and meet the board and staff. We will provide cake, punch and coffee and we invite you all to stop in and enjoy your library.