AMHERST – Libraries offer more than just books. That’s the message from the Cumberland library system’s chief and deputy chief librarians, Beth Clinton and Denise Corey.
A recent web poll on cumberlandnewsnow.com indicated 72% of respondents had either never borrowed a book from a county library, or it had been a few months or more. Only 13 per cent said they’d borrowed a book in the past week.
Wrong question, according to the librarians.
Corey said 28 per cent of county residents have a library card that’s been used in the last three years. Four Fathers Memorial Library sees about 800 patrons each week. Both women believe books are just part of the picture: library users are attending groups, reading newspapers, accessing the Internet, and borrowing DVDs.
Libraries are not archaic relics of a paper and ink past. They have successfully created a space for themselves in the community, according to Clinton. And one of their longstanding roles remains relevant today: community spaces that don’t demand membership or payment.
Corey noted there isn’t a ‘no loitering’ policy, libraries are non-secular, and they offer free services.