Local Libraries Get Tech-Savvy - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Local Libraries Get Tech-Savvy

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ALEXANDRIA, LA.- In today's technologically savvy society it's often more common to spot someone reading their tablet than the old-fashioned paperback book, but here in CenLa the Rapides Parish Library is making it possible to do both. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton reports.

At the Rapides Parish Library branch in downtown Alexandria readers have been enjoying books since 1942...and the tradition is still going strong today...for both the old and the young.

"You can see the excitement when they come in the library and they say how many books can you check out and we say well up to 50. Their eyes get huge," says library employee Faith Johnson.

But the library recognizes that the times are continuing to change...and that's why they're making sure that they are keeping up with the technology of the 21st century.

"Some of the things we do are very traditional in nature. We're still hanging in with the book and with the services that relate to that, but we're also keeping up with the times and doing the technological things that people are demanding more and more," says director of the library system Steve Rogge.

The library offers computer classes, wi-fi, online and mobile catalogs, and kids computers. They even have E-books that you can check out for your devices like the Kindle and laptops for library customers to borrow for home use.

The goal is to mold tradition with technology....that includes services like microfilm newspapers...that users say you just can't get from anywhere else but the library!

"We really couldn't go online to look at the Town Talk. We had to come to the local library to be able to use it, to be able to access it. There was no other way. It was really convenient and easy and free and the staff's been real helpful," says library user Kimberly Stafford.

But to keep these services going, the libraries portion of property tax funding must be renewed...and that's exactly what will be on the ballot in the upcoming November election. And if the citizen's don't vote 'yes'....that means bad news for book lovers.

"This comprises about 93% of all the money that the library takes in. So, this tax means we have a library, because with out it we would not," says Rogge.

Whether you're reading a hardback book or an electronic book, or taking advantage of some other type of media...the Rapides Parish Library has something for everyone to enjoy.

"Reading gives you an opportunity to value everything. You can find out about everything...and it's wonderful you need it," adds Johnson.

Officials say that library use here in Rapides Parish has continued to grow by almost 8% per year in spite of predictions that they would be replaced by the Internet.

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