Since the expansion of the internet, local libraries across America have become obsolete because so much of the information housed at the library is now available at your fingertips right from your computer, tablet or smartphone. If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. In fact, libraries are as important to the communities they serve as ever.
Marion Carnegie Library in Marion, Illinois is one example of a library in small town America that is helping their patrons gain access to the world of knowledge which is contained in their collection of books, DVDs, CDs and historical documents, and yes, you can even go to the library to access the internet.
The library currently has more than 11,000 cardholders who made 159,000 visits to the facility off South Market Street in 2016. The Marion Carnegie Library’s collection is quite extensive too. Coordinator of Library Services, Sarah Wingate says there are more than 75,000 pieces in that collection.
The library also hosts a variety of programs from reading programs and story time for youngsters. Young adults can participate in things like in science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities and Harry Potter celebrations. Even adults can participate at the Marion Carnegie Library. Craft events like screen printing have been popular and folks like to relax and chat at the coffee bar.
Marion Carnegie Library is a member of the Heartland Library System. Wingate says the system connects her library with 525 others around the state. That partnership allows cardholders in Marion to borrow anything they’d like that’s available at one of the other facilities. By the same token, the Marion Carnegie Library can loan out requested materials to any of the partners as well.
Making access to the internet available to the public on a free basis has been one of the key objectives of libraries in recent years. Many of us take internet access for granted because we subscribe to a service at home or mobile device, or have access to it at work. Having access to the internet has become a necessity for most people. Unfortunately, some Americans who need it still do not have access to the internet, but in many communities they can rely on their library for computers and internet access. People can go to the library and use the free internet to do research, use email, draft resumes and apply for jobs, pay bills, and so on.
Not all communities throughout the U.S. are fortunate enough to have a library like Marion’s with quality internet access available for public use. A key component to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was the $7.2 billion in federal money to improve broadband access in rural communities. From this program, Clearwave was awarded a state and federal grant to build an expansive fiber network in southern Illinois. 230 community institutions, 23 of which were libraries, were connected to the world-class, all fiber network Clearwave built, including Marion Carnegie Library. Since 2010, Clearwave has connected over 50 libraries to their fiber network. These connections allow the libraries to have robust and reliable connections to internet which allow multiple users to simultaneously use the library network of computers or Wi-Fi to view online content, stream videos, and communicate.
Wingate says she and her staff, as well as the library patrons, are grateful for the connection they’ve come to rely on from Clearwave Communications. “It lets us focus on how to help the community. We want to be an access point,” said Wingate. Keep updated on future events on the Marion Carnegie Library Facebook and Instagram pages.
Let Clearwave Communications help you stay connected. Call us today at 877-552-9284 or visit us on the web at www.clearwave.com.