Taking Action to stay relevant

For most of us, the library is a place that is avoided unless given an express reason to go. Whether it be to study, find research materials or attend an event, there is typically something that has to spur us into action before we will set foot in a library.

While libraries are safe havens for stressed out students who need a relatively quiet place to sit down and do work, they are also not often the first choice of destination on any college students list. However, some campus and public libraries are looking to change this stigma surrounding libraries.

The Alachua County Public Library Department has dozens of plans in motion to encourage students and residents to visit some of their locations. Events like Fandamonium and meet and greets with popular authors are just a few examples of these plans, according to Nickie Kortus, Marketing and PR director for the Alachua County Library District.

Local libraries aren’t the only ones taking action to bring in more visitors, campus libraries are constantly updating and changing to encourage students continued patronage. While the initiatives taken by campus libraries are more intended to keep students happy and coming, they are just as notable, and can be seen in upgrades like the 3D printing lab and more frequently used social media pages.

“I usually just go to one of the university libraries if I need to study or work on an assignment,” Kasey Rolen, a sophomore Healthcare Education Major at the University of Florida said, “But if they had an interesting event, and I wasn’t too busy, I would definitely check it out.”

Events pop up in and around the libraries on campus all the time, whether it’s a Starbucks food truck, offering free samples of their preciously caffeinated beverages; or a banned books week display, featuring all of the books deemed too inappropriate to be stocked in certain libraries. These events are meant to draw students to the libraries and to give them a well earned (or not so well earned) break from their studies.

While the necessity of libraries on university campuses and in public locations is undeniable, it’s a nice change of pace to see them trying to lighten the atmosphere and give patrons a reason to actually want to visit their local library. Even though most students would still visit the library without these events, it’s a good thing to see the libraries care about their visitors perception of them.