Today is National Book Lovers Day. What better way to celebrate than taking a trip to the local library?
There are three public libraries in Wilson County, each offering books as well as other reference materials to all who wish to enjoy them. Each library has its own programs for patrons and has books, magazines and even videos for all ages.
Watertown Library’s Pamela Wiggins said the public library is “very popular” and said she gets approximately 2,000 visitors per month. What’s the most sought after genre in Watertown? According to Wiggins it’s “mostly murder mysteries that move here. Both the men and the women.”
Lebanon Library’s Alesia Burnley said she sees an average of 10,000 visitors per month. Summer is the busiest time of year for the Lebanon Library, as it welcomes the summer reading program. This summer, more than 7,000 people attended one of the 22 summer reading programs sponsored by the library.
More than 1,100 students in first through sixth grade were enrolled in summer reading in addition to 124 junior and senior high students and 114 adults.
Technology is also a hot topic where libraries are concerned. Both Wiggins and Burnley said the technology available has increased visitors for a number of reasons.
“We average about 2,500 people a month that come in and use the computers and a little over 300 come in to use the wi-fi,” said Burnley. “We have people that come in just to use our technology. They can use the library cards at home to check out books.”
The library website, wilsoncolibrary.org, allows anyone with a library card the opportunity to access ebooks online and audio books online, Burnley said. “You can get [a book] a little longer through online. It’s all free online so you don’t have to worry about late fees [that you would encounter in the library.]”
Wiggins said the technology in libraries has undergone a transformation from years past.
“You would be surprised what we have now in libraries compared to years ago with all the technology.
“The state of Tennessee has a website called Reads,” she said. “If you have a library card you can borrow books from that site and put it on your Kindle or iPad. You can keep them for 21 days, just like a regular book.”
She said this month alone in Watertown there have been 133 people check out books through the Reads page.
And for those who still like the feel of the book in your hands, no worries.
“A lot of people would still rather have a book. I don’t think the technology is going to change things much in this area,” said Wiggins. “There’s always a book in my car.”
Burnley said she wants the community to remember that the library is “a free service. Just come and enjoy all the books and resources that we have to offer.”
The Lebanon Library will also begin offering free computer classes in the coming months. For more information on any of the county’s public libraries, visit wilsoncolibrary.org.