In a province of 4.4 million people, 1.9 million residents are active library users.
In Smithers and area, over 3,500 residents are active card holders.
In 2010, British Columbians made 31 million in-person visits to libraries and 26 million website visits. In Smithers 42,700 visits were made to the library.
B.C. members borrowed 57 million items and asked 3.8 million reference questions. Over a million people participated in one or more library programs from story times to computer training sessions, assistance with job searches, ESL programs, book clubs, lectures and more.
In Smithers, library users borrowed 81,222 items from the over 52,000 items to choose from. Your library staff answered over 6,600 reference questions and 1,632 people attended library programs.
Libraries help bridge the ever-widening digital divide by offering access to public computers and the Internet. In 2010 visitors used the Smithers Library’s computers 7,889 times. Free access to the Internet through public computers and wireless Internet are an increasingly important part of what public libraries do.
In fact the Internet has created a whole new need for libraries, and librarians. With so much information available on the Internet libraries and librarians offer valuable assistance helping people navigate the mass of information and services now available at your fingertips. Whether it’s finding the right form to download from a Government agency or attaching your digital resume to an online job application or loading photos to your Facebook account to share with your family or downloading eBooks to eReaders.
These reasons along with libraries being one of the only public spaces providing a quiet place in our busy lives to read a newspaper, a book, a magazine or to sit and reflect on your day make public libraries just as or even more relevant today than in the past.
Having a public library in a community means there is more reading, access to information, exchange of ideas, and community programming. All of this makes for a stronger more informed community.
The future of libraries is exciting, our world is changing and so is the way we gather information, communicate and even learn. And libraries are changing just as quickly, drop by your library today and find out why we are more than just books.