Libraries continue to adapt

Keenen Cattleman

Keenen Cattleman


“If you don’t have an IPhone, you don’t have an IPhone,” states Apple’s newest attempt to sell more of its popular personal devices.

Well now, not only do you not have an IPhone but you also don’t have access to the BookMyne application.

The Parkland Regional Library, which includes the Ponoka Jubilee Library, recently announced that all 50 of its public libraries in central Alberta can now be searched through the app.

“We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from people about BookMyne and it gives us another option to offer people to get their information,” said library manager Norma-Jean Colquhoun.

The app comes with several features including barcode scanning capability that allows users to scan the barcode of any book anywhere and check its availability in their local library. Imagine backpacking in New Zealand and running across an interesting character who tells you all about this gripping book he’s reading. As he pulls it out of his bag, you give it a quick scan and realize you can get it sent from Stettler to the Ponoka library when you get home.

It also has a social recommendation engine built in that allows the user to search for books that have been read and ranked by their friends.

For centuries libraries haven’t changed, mostly because they haven’t needed to change. The written word be it in a form of a book, magazine, or newspaper was the method that people received their information. Times have changed and so is the library.

“It’s a matter of reaching out to your clientele. That’s how people connect now and we have to be a part of it. It is all part of the big picture and nothing replaces anything else but instead it’s all a pool of choices as to how you want to access your information,” said Colquhoun.

Peggy Peterson embraces the changes made to the library. She was in the library asking questions about the collection of eAudiobooks the libraries have to offer.

“It used to be something that eAudiobooks were only used by the visually impaired and it was quite the process to sign one out. You had to be registered with the CNIB and you had to have a doctor’s note,” said Colquhoun. “Now a big part of our circulation is eAudiobooks and the people coming in to use them aren’t visually impaired but it’s their choice. They choose to have the books delivered that way.”

BookMyne creates another option for library users to get the information they want quickly and efficiently, all the while ensuring libraries will remain relevant well into the future.