As Technology Changes, So Must Librarians' Roles

Article excerpt

Byline: Sue Moylan

As the Gail Borden Library board inaugurates its newly elected board members, I spoke to retiring member Mike Alft.

Closing out his 12 years on the board, he mainly focused on the new role of the library. For the first time, more non-books were in circulated than books; consequently the budget has been adapted for an increase in CDs and DVDs. The computer rooms at Gail Borden have 60 machines and are packed with patrons. The Internet stations are equally full.

Mike sees the role of the library as information provider staying the same, but now the librarians will assist with Google to get information, or serve as guides so that library patrons can find information on the Internet. The west side branch, opening next year, besides begin a "green" building, will largely be self- service.

Mike is proud of his perfect attendance record at board meetings since 1998. One of his favorite memories is Gail Borden's birthday party, where he dressed as Gail and some 3,400 patrons came to celebrate. Thanks, Mike, for your years of service to the library and also the community!

Senior cop academy

Cherie Aschenbrenner, Elgin's senior services officer, has modified the time of the popular Citizen's Police Academy to fit the lifestyle of Elgin seniors.

The upcoming class will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon for four weeks starting June 25. All meetings are in the police station training room. Chief Lisa Womack, 911 operators, traffic, juvenile, major investigations and canine unit officers will speak. One week the class will see a demonstration of interactive police training.

There is no fee, but there is only room for the first 30 people who sign up. Residents of Elgin 55 or older are welcome. Call Cherie at (847) 289-2626 to make a reservation.

Notable buildings

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the Boys and Girls Club of Elgin will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for their new center at 355 Dundee Ave. Members of the Gifford Park Association already have salvaged worthwhile features of the old 2,000-square-foot home. And the building has been demolished.

The new two-story center with 15,000 square feet will have a tech center, gym, art room, learning center and game room. Arete 3 is the architect. It is expected to open in January.

Rose Reinert-Allen says the agency currently serves 680 members and she is projecting that 750 will show up in the first year the new building is open, with that number to build each year after.

During the school year the center is open from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and in summer the hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. She says patrons and donors have raised $2. …