The Atchison Public Library serves as a hub for the local community and demonstrates the lasting value of libraries in 2019.
Statistics show the library’s wifi usage has increased significantly over the past year. Audio books also remain popular. In addition, Slingsby revealed that the library has checked out over 17,000 children’s books as of the end of Sept.
The library provides services like public computers, a notary, wifi, faxing, and copying. The library also puts on different events for adults, children, and teens.
Allison Williams, a patron of the library, frequently uses the printing and copying services.
“I find the resources the library offers really helpful,” Williams said.
Williams believes that the appeal of the library remains amidst different technological advances in society.
Jacqueline Slingsby, the director of the Atchison Public Library, explains why she believes libraries willremain relevant.
“As a public library, we are one of the last public institutions where people can just come hang out. You don’t have to buy anything. You don’t even have to check anything out. You can just come,” Slingsby said.
Slingsby’s favorite thing about working at the library is encountering all the different people who enter.
“I kind of like the crazy that is at public library. You never know what’s going to happen in a day,” Slingsby said.
Prior to working as a librarian, Slingsby worked with children in treatment centers and detention centers. She said the experience guides her as she is able to welcome people from various different backgrounds. The library welcomes all people, including those who struggle with poverty and homelessness.
“I think the library is great because everyone is welcome. I love books and hope libraries will continue for a long time,” Williams said.