We all know what a library is. It was the place where you would go to find out something that you didn’t know. The concept of organising data and information in libraries, to keep and share knowledge has been part of humankind for thousands of years. Libraries have been responsible for disseminating knowledge throughout generations, resulting in the advancing theories and progresses of society. Libraries have evolved and are now much more than a quiet spot to read, research, or borrow books.
Back when the internet came along, people speculated that the future of libraries might be limited, as everything you could want to know or learn would be online. Of course, despite the convenience of the internet, people still enjoy reading an old-fashioned book, and meeting people face to face in their fellow community or joining groups of common interest.
Just as technology has changed, so has the function and services that libraries now offer. Libraries offer the borrowing of toys, videos, power tools; they coordinate dog walking groups, lego clubs, you name it. What we have seen is the library evolve into a community hub for personal interaction. Community groups, and event creators use libraries and their networks to help offer new services and engage digitally with consumers.
Now that Libraries have evolved into offering a broad range of services, an online solution of a Library Engagement Hub (LEH) is able to change the lack of awareness of these services, resulting in more satisfied community members. This is particularly relevant in times of high inflation – such as now, where disposable income is dropping, and efficient access to Library services is highly sought.
A primary concept behind the Library Engagement Hub (LEH) is to allow customers to become aware of Library information, at their convenience. Whether it be a borrower notice, an event, or introduction to other Library services, the LEH empowers the community and individuals to choose the information they want. Library participants can define the attributes of the items that interest them, and Library administrators can develop messages to participants of those areas of interest. Without doubt, Libraries will continue to add a social element to their communities as gateways to knowledge and culture.
What does the future bring for Library services? Probably just about anything. Imagine social recharging stations for cars, where your car is charged wirelessly with renewable geothermal energy at a social price, while having a beer at the library. Perhaps that will become part of our future. Of course, the history shows that libraries will continue to evolve, and involve their community.
By using LEH, the library is empowered to grow digitally, and communicate effectively with their people.