The public library is becoming more and more digital

"The digital revolution is also hitting libraries with full force", gabriele lechner, director of the herzogenaurach public library, explained in her annual report at the most recent meeting of the cultural committee. "This is evident not only in the increased use of e-media via onlending, but also in the new services on offer", according to the director.

On 9. February 1981 the municipal library was opened in the rooms of the castle building with a stock of 10,000 volumes and was regarded as an exemplary model library with its modern media library. "When I started working at the public library, my predecessor told me that the library would soon be relocating. It has now been almost 38 years", said the director with a smile.

A lot has happened in almost 38 years, because the change in the media is one of the great challenges of the present. It also changes the working conditions of libraries, but not their purpose, on the contrary. Even in the digital age, libraries stand for the basic right to information, for participation and equal opportunities, for the promotion of reading, the teaching of media and information literacy, and for meaningful leisure activities.

Annual acquisitions

Books still dominate the shelves in the historic rooms, but the public library now has more than 25,000 items available for loan. This offer is constantly being expanded and around 2000 new publications are acquired each year. The book stock includes around 20 categories such as novels, picture books, first readers, children’s and young people’s books as well as comics and non-fiction books. This also includes foreign-language books, which are also used by the 2,500 or so readers.

As gabriele lechner explained, although the media stock and the number of loans of real media declined somewhat, the number of downloads from the onlending service rose to over 19,000 by the end of november last year, and the new music service "freegal" and "tonie-boxes" were also introduced has been well received. In the first six months, 140 users streamed over 9000 tracks and downloaded over 9000 tracks permanently.

Since the municipal library will not be expanding in the next few years, the virtual branch libraries with onlending and "freegal-music" have been a great success the only way to supplement the far too small stock of media (the target is 50,000 media) and to make cultural, social and digital participation possible for all citizens across the generations.

Gabriele lechner and her team place particular emphasis on young and very young readers. There were 70 visits by classes or kindergarten groups as well as two reading nights for elementary school classes, 23 reading sessions or picture book cinemas, the book rally "magische welten" (magic worlds) and ten bookbear lessons for toddlers and young children as well as the kamishibai theater "thanks to the crane and of course the popular book boxes and reading backpacks.

A "bee-bot" has been created for playing in the library and for lending to daycare centers and elementary schools have been purchased. The bee-bot is a small floor robot that can be programmed with keys and encourages children’s analytical and foresighted thinking as well as their problem-solving skills in a playful way. With the little robot bee, children get an insight into robotics and learn that robots or. Computers do not think for themselves, but obey orders that we humans give them in the form of codes.

Since november, "tonie figures" have also been purchased and "tonie boxes" lent. The box is digital, padded and easy to use with figurines – also known as tonies. Just press, tap, tilt and it does exactly what the child wants. To start the audio file, all you have to do is place the corresponding figure on the switched-on box and the listening fun begins.

Self-booking for users

As gabriele lechner went on to explain, the temporary move to the former puma administration building during the construction of the new town hall will result in a number of changes for the town library. This is how all media are booked at a counter close to the entrance. Multiple queuing for the loan and return of different types of media is thus no longer necessary. A separate information desk allows for detailed consultations, especially in the case of new registrations or problems with the onlending service.

Once a self-booking station and security gates are installed, users will also be able to book their own media. In preparation for the self-booking, the staff converted the media stock from april 2017 to april 2018. For this purpose, each medium received an additional label, the code of which was linked to the catalog data. And last but not least, according to lechner, the possibility of paying fees without cash is to be created.

Regular events continue to take place in the library: reading sessions, reading nights, vacation activities such as the distribution of reading backpacks, book rallies for children or english book clubs for adults. The municipal library opens, after closing on 12. January again on 22. January at 2 p.M. In the new premises in the rathaus-interimsquartier in the former puma building.

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