Welcome to the Dover Town Library!
There is no doubt that since the onset of the iPad and digital tablets, every industry and discipline has been grappling with how to best use and integrate the new technology. Libraries and the publishing industry are no different. For the publishing industry, this means controlled costs, less expensive ways to update information and a way to avoid taxes on unsold merchandise. Both publishers and libraries are faced with how to approach copyright and access issues. These issues are currently being battled out in court and moving forward is uncertain. Regardless of legal decisions, technology presents new challenges for libraries and ramifications are too serious to wait for court decisions which could take years.
Because tablet technology is a new development, there aren’t any service models to guide libraries in a smooth transition to digital inclusion. As the Dover Town Library develops its collection, we are committed to purchasing physical books; however more and more titles are only available in digital format. Although many libraries have turned to rental solutions in which they pay companies for access to digital information, we purchase all of our digital materials. By purchasing the digital titles, we ensure our community has access to the material in the future. Our philosophy continues to be built on traditional principles of curation and management of collections and not as a broker of rental collections.
For the past five years we have made bold strides anticipating the inevitable. We have created ways to blend new technology with traditional library services. You will now find individual free standing iPads beside specific subject areas, which will allow inclusion of digital materials side-by-side with books on the shelves. These iPads hold new digital books and apps pertaining to each subject area. All of these books and apps are available to borrow as you would any other materials. Please inquire with a staff person for more information pertaining to these selections. Even though the publishing industry is developing a tiered system of access and rights, the Dover Town Library staff is motivated and dedicated to the core principles of free and equal access.
Literacy is another core principle we take earnestly. We host a variety of book groups where patrons can join others in thought-provoking discussions. Our website provides Reader’s Advisory for all ages. Our shelves have “Staff Picks” and “Reader’s Choice” markers to assist with browsing. “Speed-Reads” eliminate waiting for popular titles. While the library tries to purchase a variety of materials that educate, entertain and stimulate individual well-being, if you don’t find it on our shelves, we are one of a 43-member Minuteman Consortium which includes many area colleges and universities.
But again, technology has changed the face of what it means to be literate. Digital literacy is necessary in order to have a voice within the global world, learn skills in preparation for the current job market and keep abreast of new educational models. It is not enough to simply provide access to technology. Our staff stands poised to assist all members of our community in developing digital skills and are happy to work one-on-one with an individual through appointment or simply by stopping in. Another available option is a tutorial from home through Atomic Training. This database is linked from our webpage. It is available 24/7 from home or work using a library card in order to learn new skills or refreshers in Photoshop, Excel, Google Docs, Ipads, Skype, iPhoto, iTunes, and more.
We strive to be your destination when you want to explore a new device before a committed consumer decision, learn how to operate equipment received as a gift, or borrow a Play Station because the grandkids are in town. Our library has 12 public access computers, wifi and wifi printing available to help get work done. We have every generation of Ipad and Itouch available to borrow. Our Kindles and Nooks are loaded with hundreds of books from which to choose. All of our hand-held devices are available to borrow, including portable DVD players, Blu-Ray players, and a variety of gaming consoles. Broad selections of games are available for loan or to play in the library in our gaming area. Use our wall mounted tablets to access email, search the catalogue or explore a new app. Our technology is supported through the extreme generosity of private gifts allowing our community to enjoy as they master digital skills.
This year we have added a “Toy Library” to our collection of materials for children of all ages and abilities. Learning is the most fundamental ingredient in children seeking to understand the world in which they live. Play allows children to master complex functions in language, social interactions, physical movement, problem solving and complex strategies. The “Toy Library” is one of many facets to life-long learning at the library.
Our entire library’s music collection is now available for your listening pleasure, accessible from any library computer or wireless device while visiting our facility. In addition, all library magazine subscriptions and newspapers are also available in digital format on iPads offering a new interactive experience to explore; simply ask at the circulation desk for a “magazine iPad” or how to access the music collection.
These databases are free and accessible from your home, work or while in the library and include:
• ConsumerReport.org is available to assist you with informed consumer decisions.
• College bound students can now prepare for the SATs, SSATs, ACTS, PSAT, and PLAN for free using ePrep. .
• IndieFlix allows you to pick from over 4,000 independent films from your favorite film festivals from around the world and stream directly to your home computer or portable device to watch on your TV.
• Ancestry.com allows you to explore your personal history and family tree. It is free. However, it is the only database for which use is limited to within the library.
Library programs are an important part of library services. They stimulate dialogue, and introduce ideas and culture for our community to explore, learn and enjoy. Diverse programs such as a pottery workshop, rumba, local authors, Human Trafficking Awareness, museum passes, teas, Current Affairs and Art on the Green were all made possible by the generous support of the Friends of Dover Library. In FY13-14, they generously gave $29,775 to the library from monies raised through membership, House and Garden Tour, and the ongoing Tile Project. $19,450 of the Friends’ gift assists us in meeting the materials (books, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines, toys, etc.) budget mandate established by the State of Massachusetts. The Friends’ continued generosity and support is unsurpassed.
Libraries add economic value to their communities by the collections they offer, the services provided and the value of education and life-long learning opportunities. In 2012, Dover Town Library was named finalist as a “Best Small Library in North America” by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The library continues to be recognized nationally and internationally and is proud to add value to this community. We remain committed to our mission of providing free open access to the world’s knowledge, information and culture. Our staff is always pleased to assist with reader’s advisory, help to pick out a great book, place a hold on a new title, or answer questions regarding technology. From our new and improved webpage, we can now recommend great titles for all ages, provide a calendar of current events or help navigate our site from mobile devices.You are always welcome to stop by the library for a visit or call us at 508-785-8113.