Growing Range of Technical Services Libraries May Offer
How are libraries maintaining their role as research hubs in the age of the internet? They have adapted to offer a growing range of technical services, including databases, e-books, digital periodicals and video games. These new library services add value in the key areas of empowerment, entrepreneurship, engagement and employment.
New Services Offered by Libraries
3-D printing is a relatively new resource that still has a high cost of entry for its hardware. Individuals who need to create or print models can easily access the resources of the library instead of paying premium costs for the use of a private printer or making the purchase individually.
Video Game Tutorials
Libraries are now a place to easily find an organized collection of video game tutorials on many topics. Many industries have moved training programs into the 21st century with interactive video games that allow future employees to more intimately integrate themselves into the work environment. Libraries offer these individuals a chance to view and test training programs before moving into a job or an internship.
Virtual Reality Resources
The world of virtual reality has finally made its way into the commercial mainstream with viable products that range from video games to business simulators. The hardware for VR technology is still quite expensive, and many people find it much easier to use the resources at the library to introduce themselves to this new technology. Virtual reality is also an ideal way to train for many different applications, including job interviews and upcoming academic presentations.
Personal Finance Programs
Although many people believe that personal finance is outside of the realm of library science, the opposite is actually true. Many libraries have created personal finance programs in conjunction with local universities, private educators and commercial banks. The result of the collaboration is quite an in-depth range of programs that help library patrons learn how to invest, save and properly spend their income.
Sixty-nine percent of libraries today are acquiring digital content, and, since 2010, that number has increased every year. The unfettered access that libraries give to their surrounding communities is a testament to the great things that public-facing institutions can provide when given the appropriate funding and direction for a certain cause. Libraries will continue to support digital equality, with the trend of gathering otherwise hard-to-reach resources and the expertise to teach the surrounding community how to use those resources a priority that is only expanding.
To learn more about the growing intersection of library science and technology, visit the University of Southern California Online.