Libraries change with the communities they serve

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category icon Editorials, Opinion

Local residents love their libraries. And those libraries have much to offer Camas and Washougal, two growing and changing communities.

Many of us remember growing up and spending time at public libraries. In their quiet confines, we scrolled through the card catalogs, scanning to locate the call number that would start us on our journey to find the right book, periodical or reference item to complete a hunt for information.

But the days of the singularly-focused library are long gone. Citizens wanted and expected more, and library leaders, in their wisdom, have realized that these pillars of the community must change to stay relevant as well.

Card catalogs have been replaced with high tech computerized systems that track the comings and goings of the library’s collection. Many reference materials and books are now digital. Internet access puts patrons in touch with information and resources far beyond the confines of the library’s walls. The strict focus on making sure only hushed tones can be heard among the stacks has also gone away. Libraries are now often filled with the sounds that come along with providing learning opportunities, new experiences and fun activities.

As detailed in an article on page B1 of today’s Post-Record, the focus and offerings of our local public libraries have changed, but their importance to the community has not.

The Camas and Washougal libraries continue to offer so much to citizens of all ages, contributing to creating educated, informed and vibrant communities.