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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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News Thu Jan 14 2010

Do You Use the Library?

"You may read about how many ebook readers are coming out now -- but we've been offering downloadable collections for years. Did you get a new smartphone? Many libraries offer sites optimized for mobile users, offer answers via text message, and have even created apps for user convenience. We've become a proving ground for new technologies, and those who know us look to librarians for instruction and advice on a variety of digital tools."

Toby Greenwalt, a librarian at the Skokie Public Library, recognizes the gap between regular library users and those who never set foot inside a library. If you are a non-library user, Greenwalt wants to know how libraries can prove their value to you. Read and comment.

 
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Terry Boyd / January 15, 2010 10:19 AM

I'm a huge fan of libraries. Always have been. And now their websites allow you to order books online. So whenever I hear of a new book, I just add it to my list. I also see that eBooks are popping up on the Chicago Public Library's site as a format you can order.

Toby Greenwalt / January 15, 2010 11:18 AM

Thanks for helping to get the word out, Alice. I'm certainly interested in hearing as many insights as possible. Please spread the word.

Lindsay / January 22, 2010 10:14 AM

I love the library, but I often forget to take advantage of it. And I love what CPL has done to their website, with added functionality and online renewing, but I dislike that if you have a fine of $0.10, you cannot pay it online and you cannot reserve a book.

I would like to be able to create a reading list online and pay fines online and change my address! I have tried to go to a branch, but the one near my house is under construction and it just isn't all that convenient to go to another location (or I don't think to do it).

All this probably doesn't apply to Skokie, but I think that if library websites were more fun and interactive (social media?) or included things like a clickable GB Bookclub reading list, I'd find myself taking the time to go to another branch.

So my laziness plus library's out-of-date-ness means I don't go nearly as often as I should.

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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff, ah@gapersblock.com
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