Guest post by Sarah Steers, WPLLA Board Member-at-Large
During WPLLA’s monthly programs, our speakers and members frequently discuss the ways that law libraries are changing in the 21st century. We often exchange information on useful technology, from hardware to software and increasingly, apps, as well as bounce around ideas on how to increase the value of libraries for the end user.
Public libraries face the same challenges: how to incorporate technology and find programs and tools that best serve the changing needs of the community. Taking into account “Pittsburgh’s creative and diverse electronic and emerging music scenes,” the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Main Branch just started offering electronic music equipment for checkout. The initial collection will allow library-card holders to check out synthesizers, effects pedals, sequencers, different types of recording devices, and other equipment for a week. Check out a video of the equipment and an interview with Tara Goe, the librarian who painstakingly put this program together over the past year, at The Glassblock, a local Pittsburgh newsletter!
Over the past few years, Pittsburgh’s been named one of the world’s most livable cities by The Economist, Forbes , Livability.com, and Money Magazine. Pittsburgh’s new identity as a start-up hub only feeds the buzz. Everyone wants to see the technology in action! The Carnegie Library owns a Makerbot 3D printer and offers classes on how to use it – there’s one coming up on Saturday 3/18/17.
Other libraries let patrons check out telescopes, musical instruments , or local museum passes.
It’s exciting to watch libraries find innovative ways to incorporate new technologies and fire up their patrons. WPLLA members – reach out to the Board if you want to spread the word about any new technologies that you use during your work day (or even at home)! And if you have any requests or ideas for programming, send them our way! We’d love to host a monthly event that discusses what you use or what you need.