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Larchmont Residents Asked to Shape 2020 Libraries

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- June Hesler can remember when library catalogs were kept on paper and not a computer, but now she, along with the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, wants to know what Larchmont residents think the library should look like in 2020.

Residents have until Aug. 5 to visit the Larchmont Library website and complete a survey , which has been filled out by 80 people from all over New York State, describing what services they would like to see added or improved.

"The input will help inform the development of state policies and a new statewide plan for library services," said Bridget Quinn-Carey, chair of the council, which will prepare the first draft of a statewide plan in August once all responses have been collected.

The last statewide plan for library services was adopted in 2000.

"I hope the experience of actually physically sharing books and those beautiful illustrations lasts," said Hesler, the interim director of the Larchmont Library.

Hesler, who was a reference librarian at the Larchmont Library before Diane Courtney retired in June, has worked in libraries since 1978 and has seen dramatic changes.

"Back when I started, you didn't know which library owned a book," she said. "It was so frustrating because your ability to locate items was so limited. Now, not only can you answer contemporary topics, but historical ones too."

While there were no DVDs, CDs or downloadable E-Books, the biggest change from then to now, of course, has been the development of the internet.

"More and more, people are using us to do their work because they have laptops and can use our Wi-Fi," said Hesler, who is confident people will always need libraries and use them as a guide to information.

"I think the library is going to be more of a community center," she said. "We're still always going to be that resource. We're like that friendly community public face."

What do you think your library should look like in 2020? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter .

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