Libraries Aren't Just About Books

Geisel Library, UC San Diego
If print sales are down and people are screaming its end, how are libraries affected? The same as everyone else. They're losing so much money it's ridiculous. People assume, because of Google, you no longer need the library to do research- which so is wrong. I love that search engine as much as the next person but there are hundreds of databases, with brilliant information, you can access through libraries and not through Google.

I've talked about SIBL (Science, Industry and Business Library in New York) before. I love this library. Generally, I don't use it for the books. They offer free, free, classes with speakers who are professionals on the subject. Yesterday, I attended Content Marketing 101- a class on how to use content to set yourself up as an expert on a certain topic. One of the things the speaker stressed was to join online groups on a subject you're knowledgeable about and be active in those groups.

I knew this but, definitely, needed to be reminded. I'm a part of many online groups but I don't do much in them. If I want to develop a greater following to help my book once published, I need to be more active.

Anyway, got off topic. I took another free class on Search Engine Optimization, awesomeness. I tried to teach myself SEO but ended up getting confused. The speaker presented the information so even I can apply it. Awhile ago, I attended classes on how to conduct market research and how to write a market research report. They definitely came in handy as we, as writers, need to conduct research to develop a marketing campaign for our books and our brand.
The Central Public Library in Vancouver, Canada

On top of that, SIBL offers free job search counseling and business counseling both of which I need since I'm still looking for a job and starting my own business. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Because the book world is changing, libraries, too, are trying to survive through this shift. They're not focusing on the books, as much, but on the space- how to get patrons to use the building effectively. They're thinking what does the community need and how can we provide it- for free.

I encourage you to check out your local library to see what services they offer. If anything, they'll point you to some great databases.

Weeks ago, when I conducted market research for my book and business, I found many extensive up-to-date Publishing Industry Survey's. They gave me everything I needed to know about how the industry works. Then, I found a great paper detailing my demographics as well as some pretty awesome reports about people's spending habits.

I know, I'm in New York. It's a unique city but what the libraries are doing here is not unique. Remember, I studied Library Science. Libraries all over the world are redeveloping themselves to best serve the changing needs of their community.
The library of the Faculty of Philology, The Free University of Berlin