A lot of people out there seem to think libraries aren’t important anymore. This, of course, is a foolish outlook. Libraries are one of the most important public buildings in any community. The opportunity for learning and brainy recreation is unrivalled – even the Internet has trouble keeping up with the use of a book.
Which isn’t to say you should be underestimating the power of the Internet. Because that is often what drives people away from libraries. They assume that everything they could ever need to know can be found online. E-books have also been a problem in recent years, though sales have actually been declining.
Contrary to what some may believe, the library isn’t dead. In fact, it seems that libraries may be seeing a spike in popularity. And that’s a wave you need to ride with your library. Libraries that don’t see enough use risk being defunded. So, you’ve got to make sure interest in your library is being renewed! Check out these essential tips.
The power of the Internet
The Internet doesn’t have to be the death of your library. In fact, if you’re not harnessing the power of the Internet, that’s what could be killing your library! You need to make sure people can check stock online. Let them pay late fees over the Internet. Use digital marketing and social media to make sure your presence is known. Communicate with book lovers. No-one will come to your library if they don’t know it’s there!
A fresh design
Strange though it may seem, a lot of people just don’t like the aesthetic of libraries. Your average library is often quite old, and looks it. When people step inside, they can smell dust and old books. It reminds them of their school libraries from back in the day. And no-one wants to be reminded of those! You should look into a new, modern library design. This can help attract people who just happen to be walking past!
If you have books as old as the library itself, then you’re not going to get many new visitors! You need to make sure you have a decent collection of new publications. It’s true that keeping up to date in this way can often be expensive. That’s why getting every new book isn’t recommended! But you should make a list of both popular bestsellers and critically-acclaimed new works. Otherwise, you may start to see your library lagging behind the competition. (Especially with Amazon selling new paperbacks at offensively low prices!)
Perhaps you want to help with a local fundraiser. Maybe you want to help with literacy among local kids. Maybe you can get an author to visit your library for a talk and a book signing. Whatever it is, libraries can make great venues for community events. You should look into events that bring people to your library while helping strengthen a feeling of community. If you’re being funded by a local council, this will definitely help your case when it comes to further funding!