Can Today’s Libraries Remain Relevant For The 21st Century?

The local library used to be a favorite spot for most people, young and old. They were always clean, quiet, and well-organized. You can find any type of book on every topic imaginable. Whether you needed to look up information for a school paper or just wanted to read something interesting, the public library was the place to go.

But all that has changed. The Internet and computers have made it possible for anyone to look up information on topics ranging from domestic cats to the Arctic Circle. No matter what you want to learn about, just type the topic in your browser and millions of sites will come up in most cases.

For instance, try googling “domestic cats.” About 325 million results will come up. Imagine how long it would take to read all those articles. But usually, you don’t have to do that. The first page will have the most relevant facts about cats.

How can your local library ever compete?

Actually, there are many benefits a library offers that you can’t get at home on your computer. For one thing, you can get a librarian to help you find references for your topic. Librarians are usually nice people who only want to help. Somehow they miraculously know where everything is located.

Libraries have made every effort to keep up with technological advances. They rent out movies and music. They offer free computers and internet connections. You can sit down at a table and do your research without distractions. This is a real bonus if you live with kids, animals, and a spouse. The library is usually a clean, safe place where you can get your work done and not be bothered. Plus, everything is typically free. That’s a real bargain!

In spite of all these advancements, libraries are still struggling to keep people coming back. Millennials seem to expect more than Baby Boomers did in their day. They want the latest technology, faster internet speeds and perks like free coffee. This has left many libraries wondering what they can do to attract more customers.

One answer is technology. By leveraging today’s technologies, they can offer:

  • State-of-the-art workstations that function at peak performance. Users are looking for comfortable chairs and desks where they can get work done without getting a backache.
  • Fast wireless connectivity so web searches don’t take all day.
  • New computers that have the latest software and browsers installed.

To survive for the future, libraries must do more than merely allow people to borrow books. They must begin to look for creative ways to draw people in their doors.

Ideas For The Library Of The Future

  • Collaboration: What about creating relaxing spaces where a team can collaborate on an important project? Often, companies have key projects that must be completed in a specific time frame. This may require team members to work on their own. But what if the local library provided nicely furnished conference rooms where people could share ideas, drink a favorite beverage and have all the research at their fingertips?
  • Yummy Snacks: People love to snack on delicious pastries and favorite snack foods while working. Libraries could provide quality coffee, espresso, croissants, or even foods like pizza.
  • Access to VR and AI technology: Everyone is interested in virtual technologies and artificial intelligence. What if you could gain access to the newest virtual reality gadgets at your local library?

Managed IT Services For Libraries

Although these are all great ideas, each one requires a wireless network that’s fast and reliable. Most libraries just don’t have the ability to install and maintain efficient workstations with high-speed internet. Even maintaining a fast internet service that’s always up and running would be challenging for the library.

That’s why outsourcing these types of IT services is such a good idea. Outsource IT Solutions can provide a wide range of services for libraries that would keep them operating at peak performance.

Internet Security Options

We can monitor and manage your computers and network connections. Cybersecurity is such an essential aspect of keeping your network safe. We can also procure and implement upscale workstations that fit within your library’s budget. We proactively monitor and maintain software and hardware to reduce downtime. Upgrades and patch management is a critical part of this.

We can lock down your public kiosks to keep them from being accidentally or maliciously altered. Each workstation should be equipped with security measures, such as firewalls, anti-virus software, and web-content filtering.

When you work with Outsource IT Solutions, your library can provide well-maintained, modern internet and computers. We also provide a broad array of managed IT services for libraries at predictable monthly fees. If you need to add computers or workstations, just let us know.

We can set your library up with a business continuity plan that ensures your library stays up and running no matter what.

In this day and age, there’s no need for your library to become irrelevant. Outsource IT Solutions will help you keep up with all the latest technology advancements. Contact us to learn more.

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