The Traverse Area District Library is championing the burgeoning concerns about the written word, and almost any other kind of media out there. There are three branch public libraries: Woodmere, East Bay, and Kingsley, and there are three member community public libraries: Fife Lake, Interlochen, and the Penninsula. Essentially, Kristen Talaga (Marketing and Communications Manager) explains, “It’s a network of community libraries, each offering a variety of programs and all interconnected.” There’s an “awesome” amount of stuff going on at TADL, and the area is getting really excited.
In the past year, there were literally 1.2 million physical items in circulation with almost 1,500 patrons a day at the Woodmere (Main) Branch alone. In the month of June, there were 62,376 patrons at all three main branches. That’s locals and visitors alike with Traverse City’s influx of summer love. TADL are full service reference libraries where you can find out anything you want. “It’s the original Google with seriously educated individuals,” laughs Kristen. So many people find what they need, for instance, TADL sponsors a Summer Reading Program for elementary age kids. They come to the library, check out books, and then come back and explain what they read to adult volunteers. This summer’s program had 1,400 participants!
With the ever-increasing prominence of technology, libraries need to maintain their relevance. “We are concentrated on creating different ways of accessing the written word,” Scott Morey (Assistant Director of Technology) explains. Brand new to TADL is the ability to rent books from the library onto your e-reader right from home if you so choose. They offer over 700 titles and are definitely catering to the on demand society we’ve all become accustomed to. If you don’t know how to use your e-reader—they offer free classes on that, too.
The Sight and Sound section of TADL is overflowing with DVDs and CDs, but now you can Access Video On Demand from any device. There are over 8,000 documentary choices. If that wasn’t enough, in the spring of next year, TADL is launching its own access to rdio, which will give patrons access to over 14 million tracks. In case you were wondering, that looks like, “7 miles worth of stacked CDs,” smiles Scott.
Relevance wouldn’t be complete without a Mobile App and TADL of course has one of those, too. On this App, a patron can reserve books and receive an e-mail when its made available, do the same with music and movies, and have access to the library’s extensive list of events. Let’s say you aren’t right downtown, the App has a locator to find the closest branch. Essentially, TADL makes it impossible not to utilize your local libraries.
There’s a lot going on all the time, and there’s growth where growth is necessary. Metta Lansdale (Director of TADL) smiles, “We’re really geeked.” The excitement is contagious and tangible from the “awesome” circulation numbers, to the technological advances, to the sponsored Live! @ the Library music, to the live fencing demos. It truly is a place where community comes together. ~Joanna Dueweke, Regional Director