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Do We Still Need Libraries?

6:48 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- The City of Greensboro will break ground on a new library, Wednesday, at 4584 Lake Jeanette Rd. It will replace the Northeast Branch Library which closed in 2002. 

With the popularity of the Internet and so many publications and books switching to an online only format, you might be wondering why we need a new $3.6 million library. 

Brigitte Blanton, Greensboro Public Libraries Interim Director said, "Everyone does not have a computer in their home. They're coming in and using our computers to access our online resources, connecting with families and applying for jobs."

A U.S. Census report say about twenty-five percent of the country does not have a home computer. But, even if people do have a computer in their home, Blanton says there is still a benefit to visiting the library.

"Yes, you can sit down and Google. But, as information specialists, which is what librarians are, we do feel that we can guide you to the best sources and guide you to them more quickly," Blanton said. Plus, the Interim-Director says library usage continues to climb every year in Greensboro.

Jamie Cyrus is the Library Manager at the Jamestown Public Library. The library is in a historic building. While the library has embraced new technology, it still maintains its historic feel.

"No matter what people say, there are always going to be people that want to sit down with a hardcover book and flip through pages," Cyrus said. Cyrus also agrees with Blanton's sentiment about why we still need libraries. "Everyone's situation is different. We just have to keep in mind that we have to keep providing access. Educational materials. That's why we're here," she said.

Greensboro's new library is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2014. It will be 15,000 square feet and will replace the Northeast Branch Library that closed back in July 2002. In 2006, voters approved a bond to cover the cost of the $3.6 million building.

According to the city of Greensboro, "The Northeast Branch will include up-to-date technology including free WiFi, a large children's area, a coffee and snack bar and over 1,200 square feet of meeting space for community meetings and library events."

In addition, the new building will include and outdoor seating area with sidewalks and benches.

WFMY News 2

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