Library Officials Look to Make Changes to Accommodate Technology

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

STAUNTON, Va -- Two years ago, the Staunton Public Library embraced self check out technology. It allows people looking for a good book to get in and get home to start reading much faster. It was just one idea in a list of many meant to improve the experience of anyone who visited the library.

“Things have been changing,” said Ruth Arnold, director of the Staunton Public Library. “We're trying to keep up with the changes. Be as flexible as possible but we have to adapt. People's needs in libraries are changing.”

Linda Sacchieri visits the library with her husband about four times a week to use Wi-Fi. Her needs changed because she does not have Internet at home.

On Thursday, she researched travel information but there was one thing she really wished she could do.

“I have Skype on this and I'd like to be able to go into a little room and not bother other people and say, 'Hi,' to my grandchildren on Skype. That would be a service I'd be interested in,” said Sacchieri.

The plan is for an architectural consultant to come in early next year and offer a fresh perspective on how the space at the library can be best used. With e-books and digital audio books now available for loan, there is the potential that space could be found to increase the computer banks, but therein lies the future problem.

“Predicting what the next thing in technology is is a pretty tricky thing and most people I know, don't,” said Arnold.

Sacchieri was not worried about the future. She just wanted her library going experience to be the same across the Valley.

“They just redid Waynesboro and they did Fishersville and they're very user friendly. I like old buildings, so I do like this old building, but it really does need to be updated,” said Sacchieri.

There was no timetable when any possible improvements to the library would start. Money for the consultant would come from the city's $40,000 capital improvement plan.


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