Michigan libraries now offering more technology and online content

The Michigan Library Association, located in Delhi Township, has a new campaign underway this summer. The campaign kicked off in the spring and focuses on bringing awareness around the state of Michigan to how libraries are relevant in today’s world.

“If you haven’t gone to a library in a long time, now might be the time to go see what they have to offer and be amazed at some of the things that you can check out or gain access to right from your own home,” says Debbie Mikula, Executive Director of the Michigan Library Association. “Discover how the library is a place that you’re not going to recognize.”

Libraries across the state have gained access to new equipment and more online content, focused on important topics such as health issues, job seeking, and general education among others. Libraries were able to access funding for these resources thanks to two
grants the Michigan Library Association secured through the Institute of Museum and Library Services for over $2 million.

What libraries have to offer in their communities has been changing over time, but this became especially true when the pandemic hit. With people forced to work from home, many didn’t have access to the right equipment, internet access, or skills to do so successfully. Libraries across the state stepped up to provide these resources, including job seeking assistance and other training directly at the library.

“Many of our most vulnerable and disenfranchised citizens really do count on the library to provide them things that they can’t access on their own,” says Mikula.

These grants will allow libraries to extend services even more – expanding broadband internet access at the library, providing access to online content through the library that people can access from their own homes, and creating more programming, including outdoor spaces where people can safely meet to learn and grow.

The Michigan Library Association wants to draw attention to the fact that libraries aren’t just books on a shelf anymore. A library is truly a “library of things;” an art gallery, a homework space, and a place where community members can checkout everything from a laptop to a SurfacePro to a guitar.

Community members throughout the state can visit milibraryisnow.com to view a full database of all the libraries throughout Michigan and see what services they can offer.

“Libraries are serving in so many different capacities now,” says Mikula. “The more people know about what a library can provide, the happier they will be that it resides within their community. We are the heart of every community.”

Learn more about this campaign and what a library near you has to offer by visiting milibraryisnow.com.