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Beyond Books

How is the library changing to stay relevant to our mobile world of immediate access?

What comes to mind when you think of a library?  Books…that’s how 75% of people responded in the Perceptions of Libraries 2010 Report by OCLC.   But, did you know that our library has free downloadable eBooks?  What about early literacy computers, meeting places, cake pans, or programs like Artist Showcases, CAMEO (author presentations), or Cold-Blooded Creatures?

The world isn’t standing still, so the Independence Public Library is on the move as well.  Find out how your public library has adapted to our new culture, the one where Facebook and Twitter would be the third and sixth largest in population if they were countries.

See these changes and how quickly they’ve come about in Iowa, Did you Know? In this YouTube video by xplanevisualthinking, the mind-boggling data illustrates our world…wired and quickly evolving.  For example, there are 7 billion people on the planet, 5 billion people have mobile phones, 2 billion people are on the Internet, 750 million are on Facebook, and 200 million on Twitter.  What about texting?  U.S. teens text an average of 3,339 times per month.  Another interesting fact, 92% of American children have an online presence by the time they are 2 years old.  To see Iowa, Did you Know?, click on the website link from the library website www.independence.lib.ia.us.

Obviously, public libraries have to keep up with the times just like businesses and other organizations.  The Independence Public Library’s updated mission reflects these broader goals:  To strengthen the community by providing an environment where exceptional service, relevant resources, and inspirational opportunities lead to personal growth and collaborative development.

While we have and will continue to have printed, hard copies of books, we also have free downloadable eBooks that can be transferred to your personal eReader (such as a Nook, Kindle, iPad).  If you would rather listen to a book, you can also download audiobooks on your mp3 player or iPod.  Find the downloadables by going to our website and clicking on the eBook tab or the NEIBORS icon (our downloadables are through a service called NEIBORS).

Just this summer the library added leveled books that are geared towards beginning readers.  The “Just Right Books” are leveled with the same system that is used in the Independence Community Schools, making it easier for parents to help their children choose books with the appropriate level of difficulty.  Other early literacy resources include Rhyme Time for Baby and Me and Story Time, both programs provided on a weekly basis.  Two early literacy computers for ages 2-10 each offer fifty plus educational programs with a special keyboard and touch screen.

The library offers a variety of programs and opportunities, including many just added recently.  Reel Time Movies are shown during the school early out days, Artist Showcases display the creations of talented local artists, and CAMEO Events (Celebrating Authors: Meaningful Enrichment Opportunities) have featured three NY Times Bestselling Authors to date. Adults and teens now have their own summer reading programs.  Other things you may have seen at the library are magic shows, science experiments, musicians, ventriloquists, travel programs, alligators (yes, alligators!), and many hands-on programs showing how to make jewelry or do woodcarving.

You can check out a study room or request use of the Community Room (meeting room) when you need to meet with a small or large group.  If you need to do some research try the World Book Online or EBSCOHost through the library’s website www.independence.lib.ia.us .   After your hard work you may need a treat!  Check out special shape and character cake pans like a racecar or rocking horse and find a recipe or cake decorating book to make your own fabulous creation.

The Independence Public Library has grown beyond books, staying relevant in our mobile world of immediate access.  While we have thousands of print books, the library also offers thousands of titles in  other formats and a variety of other services.  Check out the Independence Public Library on Facebook,  sign up for the Library Link to receive a weekly e-mail update, or go to our website  to stay tuned in to the library!  You can also call 319-334-2470 or stop in…we would love to see you!