How are libraries staying relevant during the age of COVID-19?
Times are changing, and so is every aspect of life. Libraries have not been immune to the rapid changes in technology that have come so far in the 21st century, nor have they been immune to the world-changing impacts of the pandemic recently. However, contrary to what some people might expect, libraries have been resilient to the ever-changing world and have found ways to adapt. At BCI we are library people, and it has been inspiring since the start of the pandemic for us to see the ways in which libraries around the world are finding ways to stay relevant. For many, libraries are more than just a building filled with books. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that libraries have persisted through technological advancements and a global pandemic with as much vigor as ever.
Libraries have always played an important role in the societies they are located in. The rich, poor, old, young; everyone has a place in their local library and they are a tremendous resource for the entire community. Libraries provide a warm place to sit for homeless people, a safe place to read and learn for children with a troubled life at home, and a place to freely learn English for those new to the language. During the pandemic when in-person events were not feasible, some libraries created virtual reading rooms, free online activity kits for kids, and many local libraries even provided their underprivileged residents with computers and other ways to access the internet so they could still safely connect with the rest of the world even during lockdowns.
Educational courses, group meetings, and cultural events are often held at libraries. For some, these gatherings might also be their form of socializing, and for others it is a way to celebrate a certain topic, group, or culture. Libraries are a hub for these events and gatherings, and during the pandemic many libraries were able to host events virtually through zoom meetings or in other ways. Since reopening, libraries have been able to once again provide a space for these meetings to take place, bringing joy to the eager folks looking to get back to what they love. Not only are these events, courses, and meetings educational while bringing a group of people together, but they also offer a place to connect the community and bring awareness of what other cultural events are happening. Libraries are a vital asset to our communities, and therefore our culture.
Many people don’t know this, but most librarians are more tech-savvy than you might expect. Most have a master’s degree in library science (MLS), qualifying them for far more than just checking out your books or processing your late fees. Because of their expertise, librarians can be an asset for community members who need assistance with technology, particularly students or elderly people who might not be as computer-literate as the younger generations. In addition to that, libraries often offer printing services, access to computers, and they can help with advanced research efforts. In many cases, this assistance with technology is for the purpose of finding a job, which in turn helps those individuals become employed and ultimately helps boost the economy.
BCI has Modernized Products for the Modern Library
Here at BCI we have an inventory of innovative products for libraries and more than 60 years of experience as a world leader in modern library furniture. Libraries have been changing rapidly along with the rest of the world, especially now more than ever during the pandemic. Don’t let your library fall behind and become outdated. Contact BCI or call (877) 224-7026 to get in touch with us. We are happy to answer your questions and discuss what products might be best to help modernize your library. We are library people, here to help bring people to libraries.