Thursday, July 17, 2014

Future of Libraries

Future of Libraries
     It is almost impossible to predict the future.  A few years ago I attended a wonderful workshop on what the future will hold and how libraries can help to meet the needs of the new that is just on the horizon.  Then the economy hit its most recent speed bump.  None of those futurists predicted the economic downturn and how it would impact libraries and the communities at large.
     Recently, I purchased and read a fascinating book by Dan Gardner. Its title is Future Babble: why expert predictions are next to worthless, and you can do better.  It is a fascinating book.  He goes through the process of the futurist and explains how their theories are based on improbable information and little tested hypothesis.  Flexibility seems to be the best antidote for meeting what ails us in the future and not putting all of our resources into one idea.
This is a good premise for our libraries also.  What is the future of the book?  What will the Internet be like in five years?  How will people use computers to get information in 2020?  Will there still be computers in 2020? All of these questions have huge implications for libraries and how we will serve you in the future.
     Libraries need to be flexible.  Libraries need to look at the spaces they have and use them most efficiently and not just look to see how they can accommodate more stuff, but how they can accommodate more people. 
Books are important, very important.  We will be buying close to 15,000 of them this year alone. However, we understand that how people are reading is changing almost every day. 
     As people change, libraries will change also.  We are currently buying thousands of ebooks and eaudiobooks each year to recognize the current trend.   But that is the current trend.  We will be able to adapt as the next great wave of the information society hits.
     Here is another example; 15 years ago the most important reference book any library owned was its paper encyclopedias.  In a class I had in college, we learned the subtle differences between each encyclopedia and even the differences between the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica and the 1995 edition.  This was seriously important information.  Today, purchasing paper encyclopedias is a thing of the past.  They are not updated regular enough to warrant the cost of processing and storing.  Encyclopedias are in electronic format.
     What will libraries be like in 2020?  I do not want to make any predictions.  But I can say that we will be here.  We will be providing materials in many formats.  We will be helping people get the information they need and teach them how to navigate the Internet.  We will be anticipating what will be coming next.

Friday, July 11, 2014

What's new at the library

What’s new at the library

              Here is a look at some of the DVDs recently added to the adult collection at the library. If you’ve missed a new movie or television program, wish to revisit an old favorite, or are looking for something completely different, stop by and browse through our selection of videos. They are all available to borrow free of charge.
              Two new programs from PBS commemorate the seventieth anniversary of D-Day. D-Day's Sunken Secrets follows divers surveying the seabed along the beachheads as they map the locations of various military craft sunken during the invasion. This information is combined with eyewitness accounts from veterans to shed new light on how the invasion unfolded. In the second program, D-Day 360, 3-D computer models based on eyewitness accounts recreate the battlefield during one key five-hour period of the invasion and allow the viewer to zoom into the action from all angles.
              To further commemorate the one-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War, The Address by Ken Burns follows a class of learning-disabled boys at a small New England school that must memorize Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The film combines the history of the Address with the current struggles of each student. Civil War, the Untold Story, narrated by Elizabeth McGovern, looks at the impact of battles in the West, such as Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chickamauga, on the overall outcome of the war.
              New documentaries on current issues include The Waiting Room and Burn. The Waiting Room looks at one hospital’s struggle to care for uninsured patients. Burn by executive producer Denis Leary, follows a year in the life of firefighters in Detroit, a city with blocks of abandoned buildings, drastic budget cuts, and the highest arson rate in the country.
New travel and nature programs include Brazil with Monty Python’s Michael Palin exploring that country’s people and culture.  Across America: Route 66 and Beyond rides along with Globe Trekker host Justine Shapiro on a road trip from Virginia to Arizona visiting historic sites along the way. Earthflight, narrated by David Tennant, showcases bird's-eye views of flights of various birds around the world. Ireland’s Wild River documents the plants and animals found along the Shannon River, Ireland's longest river, over the course of one year.
New releases of British television programs include the comedy series Blandings, adapted from stories by P.G. Wodehouse, about a dysfunctional earl and his family living in Blandings Castle. Murder on the Home Front, based on the book by Molly Lefebure, follows a forensic pathologist and his young journalist-assistant as they track a serial killer on the loose during the London Blitz. The drama series Broadchurch follows two police detectives investigating a murder in a small town.
              Upcoming film releases to look forward to include: 22 Jump Street, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Divergent, Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, Godzilla, Heaven is for Real, Noah, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
               Be sure to check the library's Pinterest page, also accessible through our website, for updates on our new DVDs. All of these videos and many more are available to you with your library card.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Two One Act Plays by Senior Acts


Booktalk is a monthly discussion group for those interested in current and cultural topics in general and literary subjects in particular.  Booktalk meets on the third floor of the Gettysburg library in the USS Eisenhower Room.  All programs for Booktalk are free and open to the public.
            On Monday June 30 four members of the Senior ACTS, a local readers’ group, will perform two one act plays: “The Diary of Adam and Eve” by Mark Twain with an adaptation by Bruce Boenau and “The Duck Variations” by David Mamet.
            In “The Diary” Twain describes how Eve is introduced to the Garden of Eden and how Adam deals with “this new creature with the long hair.”  Bruce Boenau plays Adam and Joan Miller is Eve in this retelling of the dawn of human creation with humorous references to the perennial “battle of the sexes.”  Adam, a bit of a recluse who is rather befuddled by the arrival of Eve, gradually comes to understand why she is there.
            David Mamet, actor, playwright and screen writer, wrote “The Duck Variations” in 1972.  Bob Appleton and Gary Bechtel play two old guys who spend their days sitting on a park bench by a lake watching ducks.  Their conversation begins with the various habits of ducks and moves on to examine friendship, loneliness, society and death.  The fact that they know little about ducks but still have opinions about them is secondary to the themes of the play.
           SENIOR ACTS meets monthly September through June at the Gettysburg Retirement Village.  Members enjoy producing plays for readers’ theater, presenting programs for local organizations and attending community and professional productions.  The group is always looking for new members.  For information: 337-1155.
On May 19  Booktalk invited participants to bring a very favorite book or books to share in the first annual round table “Read-a-round.”  Bob and Katherine Appleton, Ann Darnell, David Flesner, Dennis Khan, Jane Scott and Byravan Viswanathan were the readers.  We hope to continue this interesting program in the future. 

                         MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!!  
           MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!! 
                        WEDNESDAY JULY 30 to SATURDAY AUGUST 2, 2014.
               9 AM TO 8 PM WEDNESDAY—FRIDAY
                   8 AM TO 12 NOON –SATURDAY
                All proceeds support the Adams County Library System

              The Friends of the Library has a book store which presents   a wide variety of gently used, attractive and interesting books for sale.  It is located on the first floor of the Gettysburg Library just inside the Baltimore Street entrance. Members of the Friends are entitled to a 20% discount on most materials.  Stop by!! Join!! Be a Friend!!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Adams County Reads One Book

Adams County Reads One Book

              “The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday.”  Thus begins The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – the 2014 Adams County Reads One Book selection.
              Harold Fry is a shy, retired British brewery salesman.  He receives a letter from a former coworker whom he hasn’t had any contact with in 20 years, Queenie Hennessey.  This brief note sparks Harold to take an unplanned trek – to walk the 600 miles or so from his home in southern England to the hospice where Queenie is dying of cancer.  Without hiking boots, rain gear, map or cell phone, Harold begins his unlikely pilgrimage across the English countryside. Along the way, he meets strangers who stir up memories and flashbacks – of when his marriage was filled with promise and then not, his inadequacy as a father and shortcomings as a husband.
              Copies of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry are available in regular print, large print, audio and digital formats – eBook through the Cloud Library and downloadable audio book through OneClickDigital.  Programs and discussions of the book will be taking place throughout September.
“From its charming beginning to its startling and cathartic denouement, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a comic and tragic joy.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
               Readers should note that there is a change coming to the Adams County Reads One Book program.  Committee members have taken a look at the program’s successes of the past couple of years – in particular the successes of last year’s selection, Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard – and have decided to make one big change. 
              Starting next year, there will be two Adams County Reads One Book programs.  One book will be nonfiction; the second book will be fiction.  We know that everyone has their own reading preferences, and by having the two programs, we will hopefully be able to reach a larger percentage of readers.
              In January we will announce the title of the 2015 Adams County Reads One Nonfiction Book.  Programs and discussions will take place in April.  Adams County Reads One Fiction Book will continue to be announced at the end of June, with programs and discussions taking place in September.
              So please, read along with us as we join Harold Fry on his voyage of self-discovery.  More information about the book and upcoming programs can be found by visiting our website,

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Something New at the Gettysburg Library

Something New at the Gettysburg Library

     Recent visitors to the Gettysburg Library probably noticed some changes taking place. Some changes involve our collections – the DVDs and music CDs are now on the Second Floor and the YA books are now on the First Floor. Some changes involve our staff – visitors may have noticed those previously working on the First Floor are sometimes working on the Second Floor, and vice versa. The First Floor staff and Second Floor staff are now part of the Public Services Department. Same faces, same friendly service…you may just find them on a different floor.        
     These steps are the beginning stages of changes throughout the entire library system, to better serve each Adams County community and to help propel the library system into the 21st century.
     Other changes involve new library programs. Have you heard about the Adult Summer Reading Club at the library? Open to all Adams County residents aged 18 and older, this is a simple and fun way to participate in a summer reading program at the library and earn chances to win something at the end of the summer. To participate, stop by any Adams County library location and pick up a Bingo card. No registration is required. The object of the game is to get a “Bingo” – a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line. But, instead of matching up numbers, each participant must read the type of book listed in each square and write down the book’s title. One Bingo equals one chance for the prize drawing at the end of the summer. Prizes are to be determined. Fill the whole card and receive seventeen chances in the Bingo. All Bingo cards are due to the library on Monday, August 4.  If you have any questions, just stop by the library!
     For those interested in joining a book discussion group, the Gettysburg Library needs your input. In the coming weeks, look for an online survey on our website ( or visit one of our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, and answer a brief survey about book discussions. Hopefully, book discussions will take place beginning in the fall. Let us know what types of books you like to read, when would be the best time to hold a book discussion, and if you are interested in being a leader of a book discussion. Thank you in advance for your input!
     Don’t forget about the wealth of resources available through the library system’s website. By simply having a library card in good standing with the library system, you can access dozens of resources, ranging from ebooks and downloadable audiobooks, to resume-building and genealogical resources. If you are not sure of the status of your library card, just call or stop by any of our Adams County library locations.
     Keep watch for advertisements about new programs, ongoing events and services at the library. It is our hope to provide new programming for adult-aged community members, as well as new resources that would benefit the adult-aged community. If you have any suggestions for programs or events, please let us know. We want to hear from you! You may stop by during operating hours (Monday-Thursday, 9am-8:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm) or give us a call at 717-334-5716. See you soon!