Atlantic Library sees increased usage and offers new technology


November 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The increasing popularity of electronic book readers such as the Amazon Kindle, has not had an adverse effect on the use of libraries. Carole Stanger, Director of the Atlantic Public Library, says the trends they’ve seen at the library over the past 5-years have been amazing, especially with regard to the “technology explosion.” That includes e-books.

Stanger held up a Kindle e-book reader during her periodic report at the City Council meeting Wednesday evening, The device had 23 different books in it, including a dictionary, but it can hold hundreds of books. She says those who have e-book readers can download books from the Atlantic Library. She says up until a few weeks ago, you couldn’t download books for free, but now you can. The result, is a massive increase in the amount of reading material available through the local library. Another technology feature available at the library in Atlantic, is free Wi-Fi. She says it extends into the parking lot, and on more than one occasion, she’s seen people in their vehicles at night, using the service.

Stanger says the facility is in the process of changing over their telephone system, so it’s tied-into their computer network. That will enable patrons to better utilize the many services available from the library, including the genealogy department. Carole says they typically have 300 visits per day from patrons, to the library. Much of those visits are from people who use the internet to look for work, and those looking to experience e-books for the first time. She says more people from different countries are coming to use the library, as well.

Stanger says some of the financial aspects which will affect the 108-year old library in the near future, include government mandates, such as taking care of hidden, lead-based paint. She says they are also making sure the facility is “going green.” That means being energy-efficient, and environmentally aware. Stanger says they’re doing their best to try and meet those requirements.