4
| Books |

Checking Out the Future of the Library

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Wasn't so long ago that the Dallas Public Library system appeared to be on life support, a victim of yet another round of city budget cuts. But at City Hall yesterday, during the council's Quality of Life Committee meeting, Interim Director of Libraries Corrine Hill insisted: Quite the contrary. Said Hill, the libraries -- both the central location downtown and the branches -- are upping usage and access; per her PowerPoint presentation, more than 10 million items were checked out during the last fiscal year -- a significant bump from FY '06-'07's 7,465,712 check-outs. Items are also getting thumbed through more often. It jibes with national trends: When the economy took a nosedive, folks stopped shopping and started borrowing. Ask Borders.

Hill then proceeded to outline further changes on the way, chief among them an app that will allow users to browse catalogs and read and write reviews from their mobile Mac devices. (Nothing for Droid users at the moment, so sorry.) That follows last May's launch of DPL's entry into the digital download business. The library wants to even let you pay fines using your smartphone.

Which doesn't mean DPL wants to tear down the brick-and-mortars: Most of the changes discussed are intended make the library more accessible -- including the new Children's Center scheduled to open next month and a planned redo of the J. Erik Jonsson that will turn the first floor, at least, into "an urban space designed to support downtown residents and business." Meaning: a cafe-coffee shop, just maybe, not unlike the one being discussed for Dallas City Hall. Perhaps Carolyn Davis can get her Starbucks after all?

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.