Future of libraries: Libraries extinct? Not so fast… | SierraSun.com

Future of libraries: Libraries extinct? Not so fast…

Pam McAdoo
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Anyone who thinks libraries are going the way of the dinosaurs should check out Slover Library in Norfolk, Va.

Several years in the making, this brand new, 138-square-foot facility is the most technologically advanced in the country, and is filled to the brim with something for everyone.

Financed by a combination of $40 million from a single donor, $22.6 million from the city of Norfolk, and multiple small private donations, the Slover facility is an amalgam of three different buildings, each of which represents a different century of architecture: a central, contemporary six-story tower connects a building from the 1800s on one side, and a structure from the 20th century on the other.

From the ground up — actually, from underground up — this stunning new facility has an array of amenities, equipment, and resources, both traditional and cutting-edge.

In the basement, banks of computers are available for use in computer classes offered at the library.

The first floor houses e-books and e-magazines; a media wall with information, news, and event information; and a café.

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On the second floor, a Youth Library and Playscape capture the imagination of children up to age two; a Kidzone attracts three- to six-year olds; and a huge collection of historical and genealogical materials and resources lures researchers, history buffs, and those interested in family trees and ancestry.

The third floor offers up interactive boards that showcase the library's collections, and a digital media lab and 3-D printer are available for projects and experimentation.

Climbing to the fourth floor, users discover a digital production studio, a Mac lab, and a study area.

On the fifth floor are more computers and study areas, as well as a Teen Zone filled with video games.

At the very top of the tower are lecture and classrooms for seminars and meetings that can accommodate small groups, as well as crowds as large as 250.

Although there is a lot of emphasis on technology at the Slover Library, print materials have not been neglected — more than 160,000 books in print are available for checkout via the traditional method (at a circulation desk) or at one of the self-checkout stations.

The Slover Library opened in early January with a huge community celebration and much excitement about the seemingly unlimited resources it offers for all ages and interests.

Click here to see a short clip about the Slover.

Pam McAdoo is a board member of the Friends of the Truckee Library. Visit truckeefol.org to learn more.

Editor’s note

This is the fifth in a series of articles exploring the varied ways that public libraries are continuing to reinvent their services and facilities in order to respond to technological innovation and the specific needs and populations of the communities they serve.

Click here to read part one of the series.

Click here to read part two of the series.

Click here to read part three of the series.

Click here to read part four of the series.

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In related news

The Truckee Library Literacy Program, Read Up!, is seeking two volunteer tutors who speak, read and write English well to give instruction to two community members who are interested in improving their English skills.

One is a nurse who desires to become fluent in English so she can practice nursing in the United States; the other is a college graduate in International Relations from a foreign country who wishes to perfect her English so she can work in Truckee.

A five-hour literacy/ESL tutor training will be provided to new volunteer tutors. All tutor guides and student workbooks are complimentary.

Contact Rolann Aronson, coordinator of Read Up!, at 530-575-7030.