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Edina Hennepin County Library

Edina Hennepin County Library

Edina Hennepin County Library

Christina Orth, managing editor

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In the era of instant information, many students turn to the internet for an immediate answer to any question that pops into their brain. Therefore, libraries are pressured to compete with instant search engines like Google and easy-access databases like Wikipedia. Specific Google searches are certainly the easiest way to conduct research these days, so what do libraries have to offer? Plenty. When people browse through the shelves of a library, they open themselves up to the possibility of stumbling across new ideas in the process of physically engaging with actual books. The process of finding, reading, connecting with, and finding applications are fundamental skills that have been lost in the transition from books to internet searches. Today, libraries serve important functions as centers for research that provide the necessary resources: books, librarians, and computers.

A library is a place in which literary, musical, artistic, and reference materials are kept for use but not for sale. Recently,  college and city administrators have had a tendency to encourage reducing the number of books in university and community libraries in exchange for more computers and other technology. Books are not optional residents of a library. When you unexpectedly find another book, author, or perspective while browsing the rows, it opens a whole new world. It makes you think differently. The dependence on virtual sources discourages the chance of encountering unexpected materials or synthesizing new perspectives. Simply put, the physical rows of books in a library encourage conversations between people and ideas in ways that computers can’t. Instead of restricting research to specific Google searches, it is important to physically engage with books.

As much as libraries are research centers, they are also help centers. Librarians can help you cite your sources, recommend genres and authors, and help you navigate the online catalog. Do you have a library card? Do you ever use it for anything other than checking out printed books? With a library card, you have access to hundreds of computers, eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, CDs, and DVDs to help you find what you need. Additionally, libraries offer services and programs such as specialized classes, book clubs, job fairs, tutoring, and writing centers; entertainment, information, and education are at anyone’s disposal.

Ultimately, libraries appeal to everyone: book lovers, students, parents, researchers, children, and anyone who wants to take advantage of programs and resources offered by libraries. Libraries are sacred and need your support. Support your library by donating or volunteering here: http://www.hclib.org/about/support.  Save the stacks!

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About the Writer
Christina Orth, public relations editor
Christina Orth not only uses journalism as a creative outlet, but as a way to put her considerable charm to good use. Standing at an impressive 4’11, many underestimate her willingness to write the occasional “who wore it best?” column. A self-proclaimed oatmeal raisin cookie and coffee connoisseur, she is always down for a mid-afternoon...
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