Have you heard the exciting news that Webster City was recently certified by Connect Iowa as a Connected community? This means our city has proven strengths in high-speed Internet access, adoption and use. We are only the second community in Iowa and the eighth community in the nation to earn this certification.
When I attended the Connected Community ceremony earlier this month, I felt proud of Webster City for achieving this distinction and excited about what this could mean for our city's future. I was also glad that Kendall Young Library contributes to the connectedness of our community. In my mind, being connected is at the heart of public libraries. Libraries have always been a place to connect to the world of ideas, but we offer many other connections as well.
Connected to Technology
Being connected to technology is increasingly important, and Kendall Young Library offers many ways to do so. The library is a wireless hotspot offering free Wi-Fi open to anyone with a laptop computer or other internet-connected device. We also have public computers that can be used for research or recreation. Since the beginning of this year, our 10 public computers have logged more than 3700 hours of use by community members. These computers plus 3 Kindle Fires (and soon to be added iPads) give library patrons opportunities to access the Internet.
Many of the technology resources we offer are subscriptions paid by the library and then made available for free to library cardholders. Examples include the thousands of eBooks and eAudioboooks available to borrow from our NEIBORS program and over 200 eMagazine titles available via our Zinio subscription. With your library card, you can also access programs to learn a new language, research genealogy, improve your computer skills, repair your engine, prepare for the SAT, manage your small business, find a great book to read, and much, much more. Visit our website or the Reference Desk to learn more.
Connected to History
While our technology offerings keep us reaching toward the future, the library is just as focused on our connection to the past. Every time you visit the library you are connected to our local history. Thanks to the generosity of Kendall and Jane Young and many other contributors over the years, Webster City has one of the most beautiful libraries in the state. Plus, our special collections (including the Foster Dolls, the Abastenia St. Leger Eberle Sculptures and the Van Ness Native American Collection) and excellent genealogy and local history research collections bring visitors in from across the country.
Connected to Your Community
One of my favorite things about libraries is how they help people connect to the community. This is especially apparent to me with the programs we offer. In the Children's Department, the parents who bring their children to Storytime often gather together and visit. Teens from grades 6-12 attend programs where they make new friends and help plan the activities of the group. Participants in our book discussion group and crafting programs share common interests while also being exposed to new ideas.
The library is much more than a book repository. It is an active community hub with endless opportunities to make new connections, whether with technology, with history or with your neighbor. Everyone is welcome at Kendall Young Library. I hope you will connect with us soon.