Libraries prove to be far from a dying institution

Libraries prove to be far from a dying institution

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Back to school season comes with learning, studying and researching. That means using computers and, of course, books.

But how relevant are libraries now in the age of technology?

With the amount of traffic they generate, libraries are not a thing of the past!

While many may think libraries are a dying institution, more than 692,000 people visited the Jackson-Hinds Library System last year.

“It’s important to read books. It’s not only important to me, but it might be import to other people,” said library patron Jon Rhodes. “Sometimes I need to reference books concerning government issues.”

Darryle Smith uses the Eudora Welty Library often and likes the access to the various technology it offers.

“People like myself, we still like print. We like reading and it’s something that you expose young people to,” said Smith. “They have computers. They have CDs and movies."

Two-hundred-and-twelve-thousand people have library cards. In 2018, 221,000 books and CD books were checked out throughout the system.

“People thought that when they had the technology revolution that print books would go away. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Jackson Hinds Library System Executive Director Patty Furr. “Books have actually been published at more than 10 percent each year than they did before."

Mississippi libraries have received more than 2,300 books donated by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. They've come from the Library of Congress and his personal collection.

Mississippi authors like Jackson natives Richard Ford and Angie Thomas know the importance of libraries and reading. Both will be participating in The Mississippi Book Festival Saturday at the State Capitol.

“There at the library [The Medgar Evers location] Angie Thomas found doors and windows to open for her, and it’s one of the reasons I think that she says she’s an author today,” added Furr.

There are 14 libraries in the system with a network of 337 computers.

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.