Technology helping libraries stay modern

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – With people going great lengths to steal expensive items, it would seem likely they would also steal free things, like library books and DVDs. 22News found out if that’s the case at libraries.

At Emily Williston Memorial Library in Easthampton, librarians said technology is actually helping people stay honest. They haven’t noticed book theft as a problem. That’s partially because there’s now a website for people to pay late fees.

More people are using their library cards to take out books electronically on their e-readers, so hard copies of books are less likely to be stolen if they’re not taken out in the first place.

The biggest obstacle for librarians isn’t keeping their books but competing with online services.

Interim library director Arlene O’Connell told 22News, “It’s a lot easier for people to feel part of the community, I think, when they come into the library, browse the shelves. We also have the technology where they can actually go online, visit our catalog and order a book from anywhere in Central Massachusetts.”

That book or book-on-tape can then be delivered to the library for them, just as you may think of Netflix delivering a DVD to your door.

Many libraries, like the Emily Williston Memorial Library, are offering free online training courses to help keep libraries an important part of people’s lives, just in a more modern way.

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