Some of the statistics in this infographic really surprised me!
- There are over 121,000 libraries in America and 69% of Americans use libraries
- 67% of libraries offer downloadable e-books and 28% lend out e-readers and mobile devices
- 95% of libraries have some kind of online, social media presence
69% of Americans using libraries really surprised me. I think libraries have held their own over the past few decades, because they’re not afraid of technology. I still remember using an Apple II in elementary school class in the … wait for it … wait for it … library!
Also, who can remember using a card catalog cards when looking for books in the library? I remember using them–as scratch paper to write down what I found on the computer!
But what does this have to do with the church?
First, here’s the 411 on The Future of Libraries:
[Click for Larger]
As you can see, libraries have survived the technology boom because it’s kept up with the times.
It’s stayed, relevant.
But staying relevant didn’t mean opening a coffee shop in the library. Libraries all over the country continue to do what they’ve always done: Make media available free of charge. As the technology and mediums have changed, so has their approach–all the while retaining their fundamental purpose.
This is what the Church can learn from libraries. It’s not enough to have an awesome website or offer free coffee and donuts before church service, it’s about providing what the Church has been sharing for over the past 2,000 years.
Stay relevant? Yes.
But don’t forget our purpose.