Still reading at the library

It seems since the advent of television more than one person has been sounding the cry that the written word, and the places connected to it, were going to disappear. With the development of the Internet some of those cries increased.

Well, we’re into the 21st Century and the written word is still being used. True there have been changes, such as kindles, computers especially for the use of books, and most newspapers have an online presence, but whether you’re reading this by ink on paper or a computer screen, don’t count out writing yet.

As mentioned there have been changes. While libraries now have their book catalogs on computers and you can find people using computers to check their email, facebook accounts or just to surf the web, there are also all ages of students doing research or homework. Some are even cracking open the occasional book to do their work.

More than once at the New Prague Library I’ve seen a mom or dad carry up several books with their children in tow. Sometimes there may be a DVD mixed in with the books, but if it’s one DVD to six books, I like to think the books won.

Books and DVDs are just two of the forms of media included at libraries. There are music and books on CDs, both great for passing time during long car trips. Graphic novels or collected comics have their own section at libraries. Another change is what would probably have been labeled teen novels when I was younger are now Young Adult. Of course some libraries (and book stores) have one area for paranormal romance. Think the "Twilight" series of novels.

While the library can still be a quiet space, it depends on when you’re there. In talking to Lori Weldon, manager of the New Prague Library, she noted the library is a community gathering spot. There’s the occasional class, ranging from making ornaments to fun with science. There’s also children’s story hour, author visits, meetings of Girl Scouts and other organizations, book clubs, historical displays, music presentations and the Student Art Show.

Libraries have changed with the times, but judging by the New Prague and Elko New Market libraries, their main use for providing books is still active.

St. Patrick’s Day Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day, although some celebrations will be kicking off on Saturday. No matter how you observe the holiday, quietly or lively, may you enjoy it with family and friends.