Gail Borden Hopefuls Discuss Future of Libraries in Internet Era -BYLN-

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

Gail Borden Hopefuls Discuss Future of Libraries in Internet Era -BYLN-


In the April 7 election, four candidates are vying for three, 4-year terms on the Gail Borden Public Library District board of trustees. Candidates were asked to complete a Q&A; some excerpts from their answers are given below. The candidates are: incumbent Herb Gross, Randy Hopp, Susan Moylan and Jessica Thompson.

Q. What is your philosophy on the function of a library and its role in the community during the Internet age?

Gross: The function of a library, providing material of all kinds to the community, has not changed. The new technology involving the Internet has only made providing materials easier. The role of a library in the community has changed in the last 30 years. Libraries are increasingly incorporating exhibits and programs such as the Dinosaur, Space, Lincoln and Hamilton exhibits and programs recently seen at Gail Borden.

Hopp: The core function of a public library in the Internet age is to not only build collections of information in physical form like print, acoustic, magnetic and digital on a wide range of subjects as it has been in all previous ages, but also to provide access to information in virtual form with Internet enabled computers and wireless Internet access. The core role of a public library in the community in the Internet age remains the same as it always has been, a place where any one can go to find information and to study.

Moylan: I see Gail Borden Library as a true community center. It already draws more people to downtown Elgin than any other institution. The library should provide stimulating resources for literary, cultural and historical learning. It has been ahead of the curve on electronic resources. Because these services are free, it is a great asset in these difficult times.

Thompson: The librarys business is information that hasnt changed. Historically, much of that information has been found in books. Now much of the information we use is online. This doesnt make the library irrelevant or less important, as some have claimed.

In the past, the library spent most of its time and energy providing the information (via books and magazines) and a little bit of its time helping people navigate the information (finding the books they wanted, understanding why some resources are better than others).

In the digital age, this has flip-flopped. The library still provides information via books, magazines, and the Internet, but the proportion is changing. …

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