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Local Library Director Discusses Forthcoming Developments

dc public lib2 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/12/13) - The Green River Area Development District invited Daviess County Public Library Director Jim Blanton to be the guest speaker at their Board of Directors meeting held yesterday morning.

The meeting began with a brief speech and moment of silence honoring the anniversary of Sept. 11 delivered by City Manager Bill Parrish. Shortly after, Blanton took the podium to discuss his previous work experiences, current programs offered at the library and a number of developments moving forward.

Blanton believes the core roles of a library include supporting literacy and life long learning, providing educational programing, as well as references or sources of information. However, he is continuously looking to do more.

"I am looking at ways to expand and provide more service to the community than we have traditionally," Blanton said.

According to Blanton, his underlying philosophy and rallying cry for libraries is, "What can a library be for their community?"

"I see a library as a tremendous cultural center," Blanton said. "And that can provide some amazing opportunities to connect people with each other."

Programs such as "World War II Remembered - Road to Victory" is just one of many events the library offers for the public to come together to discuss historical events and share their knowledge.

The library also offers a great deal of partnerships between their patrons and many organizations in this community. The library director discussed ways in which DCPL tries to stay connected.

"We're looking this fall to start up a seed library and that's where you can come in and actually check out seeds to go grow plants," Blaton said. "We're partnering with our master gardeners at the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden to make this happen."

The Garden will also be offering classes through the library for those who are interested in learning the basics of gardening. In this way, the community is able to develop new skills while expanding their network with local businesses and organizations.

Other developments take a considerable amount of time and funding to accomplish. One of these issues that all libraries are currently facing is the rapid advances in technology. In the case of Daviess County Public Library, Blanton described wireless access as being "a huge issue."

"Our wireless increased 38 percent in usage this past year and we only have eight access points in our building," Blaton said. "We're looking to expand that this fall to 27 so there will be no 'dead areas' in our building."

According to Blanton, many of the programs moving forward will depend on that wireless connection including: e-books, electronic data bases and the virtual wall.

In the meantime, Blanton and his staff are working develop a more comfortable environment and give the patrons more accessibility in the building. Those at DCPL are hoping to create the types of community spaces where people can browse books, meet with friends or simply relax.

Blanton concluded by offering this piece of advice: "I encourage any of you to go back to your libraries throughout Kentucky and let your libraries know that you want them to be thinking about what they can be for your community, as well."

For upcoming programs, developments or events at DCPL, visit http://www.dcplibrary.org/

Evan Gorman
SurfKY News

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