Let’s open up a new chapter for library | AspenTimes.com

Let’s open up a new chapter for library

Dear Editor:

Is there a place for libraries in today’s technology-centered age? Should we be interested in making our library better and providing improved services through our Pitkin County Library? Are libraries becoming obsolete? Here is some interesting information quoted from an NPR report this week:

“In what may come as a pleasant surprise to people who fear the Facebook generation has given up on reading – or, at least, reading anything longer than 140 characters – a new report from Pew Research … reveals the prominent role of books, libraries and technology in the lives of young readers, ages 16 to 29.

“We found that about eight in 10 Americans under the age of 30 have read a book in the past year. And that’s compared to about seven in 10 American adults in general. So, they’re reading – they’re more likely to read, and they’re also more likely to be using their library.

“We haven’t seen for younger readers that e-books are massively replacing print books. That might happen in the future, but right now we’re just seeing them sort of as a more convenient supplement.

“A lot of libraries are really looking at how they can engage with this younger age group, especially with Americans in their teens and early 20s. And so a lot of libraries are looking at ways to sort of give them their own space in the libraries, have activities just for them. Some libraries even have diner-style booths for the teens where they can just socialize and hang out, and so that they can think of the library as a space of their own.”

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Library use in Aspen continues to increase, taking care of a whole variety of clients: kids just learning to read, teens and young people, visitors to Aspen and all the rest of us. Yes, use at our local Aspen library is growing. It has become a community center in many ways, and yes, kids and young people are there!

The goal of expanding and improving the library makes sense, and half the cost of the renovation is already in hand! The expense to an individual homeowner is just $17 per $1 million in residential valuation. For the positive impact that the project will have, that is a bargain. Doing the project in conjunction with renovation of the city garage and the plaza above saves money. The project is worth our support. Please vote “yes” twice for our Pitkin County Library. The kids, young people, visitors to our community and all who are interested in books and learning say thanks!

Warren Klug

Aspen

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