Burbank library officials are hoping to take local library facilities and services to the next level to better meet the needs of the community.
Elizabeth Goldman, library services director for the city, updated the City Council during a study session earlier this month about the current trends regarding library spaces and services as well as what the city has done, so far, to keep up with the times.
Goldman said cities around the world are continuing to build new library facilities. Long Beach recently finished construction of its new main library in September, and Riverside is slated to have a new library this coming summer.
Updating the aging Burbank Central Library is not a new issue. Goldman said city officials first recognized the need for an improved facility in 1989, yet there has been little progress made on turning it into a modern-day asset.
“A replacement building on its own will not meet this promise, which is why the Burbank Public Library staff have been working hard to understand and adapt to the trends that are shaping libraries,” Goldman said.
The library services director focused on current library trends, one of which is the changing use of space.
Goldman said that today’s libraries have evolved from book-focused facilities into spaces where people can study, have access to the internet, hold meetings and be used as a public venue.
Technology is another area in which libraries are adapting to the times. Goldman said many people thought the advent of Google and other internet search engines would spell the demise of libraries, but that wasn’t the case.
She said millennials and younger generations of children continue to flock to libraries to study or to work on projects with classmates.
Goldman said it is important for Burbank’s libraries to continue educating the public about traditional literacy as well as teach people of all ages how to use various types of technology.
Policies also need to change to provide the public better access to libraries and services, Goldman said. For example, some libraries across the country, such as those in Boston and Chicago, are doing away with fining users for overdue library materials.
Goldman also talked about the importance of keeping the library staff up to date about the changing policies and services available to the public.