By: Shannon Fleming and Sean Wetselaar
Looking forward to looking back
October is Library Month, and this year the annual event is themed “Your Library, Your World: Opening Doors to the Future”. If you think about it, libraries really are the door to the future. They represent the collective wealth of mankind’s knowledge in an age dominated by information. Looking at the beliefs and stories of individuals is certainly a way to predict the future. We’re also in a time where the evolution of information is affecting the way people think about libraries. But they’re also a door to the past. So, for this year’s theme, we’re going to do more than look to the future. We’re going to give you a glimpse into the library’s past.
1851. The Mechanic’s Institute was founded by Joseph Bates, amid a tiny hamlet just beginning to come into its own – Uxbridge. Over the next 50 years, the Mechanic’s Institute would move to several iconic buildings across town, eventually landing in the clock tower it’s known for today. The collection would grow from a mere 164 books to 5 000 books in 1880, and then exponentially to the 60 000 it houses today. Over the years, the Uxbridge library was frequently named the best library for the size of its town, earning acclaim from all levels of the government. In 1986, construction commenced on an addition which more than doubled the size of the building. It was completed the following year, leaving us more or less with the library that we know today.
It would be impossible to write a column about the future of libraries without discussing aspects of technology today – such as the prominent electronic readers (the Kindle and iPad come to mind). Many people are (perhaps rightly) of the opinion that books are fast going the way of the dinosaurs. But there’s something about the feel of a physical book, the smell of the pages, the act of leafing through it, that we feel will keep books where they are. Technology may continue to improve, but as far as we’re concerned, libraries are here to stay.
What’s New: A Battle Won by Thomas Russell is available to be signed out in the Adult Department. In addition, The Bear, the final volume of R. A. Salvatore’s “Saga of the First King”, is in.
What’s Happening: The Teen Advisory Board had its first meeting last Thursday, with great success. As well, patrons should be aware that the library will be closed on Monday, October 11 for Thanksgiving. For more information on what’s happening at the library, come pick up a newsletter at one of the circulation desks.