How Delaware Libraries stay relevant in the tech age - Technical.ly Delaware

Access

Jan. 10, 2018 9:15 am

How Delaware Libraries stay relevant in the tech age

Makerspaces, entrepreneurship assistance and tech classes are just some of the features that keep Delaware's libraries valuable.

The Inspiration Space at the Wilmington Library.

(Photo by Holly Quinn)

A decade ago, when Amazon first launched the Kindle, it looked like libraries were once and for all about to be toast. Research and studying had already become less dependent on brick-and-mortar book boxes, and now a small library’s worth of texts could fit in a device smaller than a paperback.

But, as Janet Wurtzel, the resident business consultant at the Wilmington Library’s Inspiration Space, says, attaching all of a library’s value to hard copies of books misses the essence of what libraries are actually about.

“We connect people to information,” she said, giving a mini-tour of the second-floor Inspiration Space, a room that’s part makerspace, part career center and part classroom. Rows of computers face a large screen, on which, after a while, an instructor appears — live from the Georgetown Library — preparing for that day’s workshop. The weekly workshops are simulcast to several Delaware Library branches at once.

The workshops are for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners, one of the many business resources available through the Delaware public library system, all for free. Small businesses can incorporate online via the library and even connect with resources for financial assistance.

As a “mini makerspace,” the Inspiration Space encourages creativity and offers access to free 3D printing (within reasonable size limits), which is especially helpful for entrepreneurial inventors who need prototypes.

“There’s no charge for 3D printing,” Wurtzel said. “But you don’t get to pick the color.”

The 21st-century resources are increasingly taken advantage of, yet there still seems to be a lot of open seats for the sessions. When you consider what’s offered at no charge, it’s a wonder there aren’t waiting lists.

Still, the Inspiration Center at the Wilmington, Dover and Georgetown Libraries, as well as the recently-opened Innovation Center at the Route 9 Library in New Castle have kept the libraries relevant. There are still books and movies to borrow, but the modern spaces seem to be their most valuable assets in the tech age. Libraries can’t be old-fashioned relics of a different time, or that’s exactly what they’ll become.

Advertisement

Small Business Assistance Workshops are held simultaneously every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Wilmington, Dover, Georgetown, Bear and Milton Public Libraries. Click here for a list of topics for the January and February sessions. Entrepreneurs can receive walk-in assistance on Wednesday afternoons. See the Delaware Libraries calendar and the workshops page for more.

Organizations: Delaware Libraries
-30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

To work as an artist, think like an entrepreneur

Using blockchain (and camping) to foster meaningful human contact

These two entrepreneurs are building a bunch of startups all at once

SPONSORED

Delaware

Join our Technical.ly Match beta, an opt-in alternative to recruiting

Kennett Square, PA

Chatham Financial

Software Developer in Test

Apply Now
Kennett Square, PA

Chatham Financial

User Experience Designer

Apply Now
Kennett Square, PA

Chatham Financial

Full Stack Software Developer

Apply Now

New Castle County launches online tool for entrepreneurs

How the power of positivity can hurt you

Hagley Museum is putting Brandywine Valley oral histories online

SPONSORED

Delaware

Win up to $360,000 in funding at the WeWork Creator Awards

Wilmington, DE

CSC

Business Analyst

Apply Now
Wilmington DE

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Hadoop, Big Data Associate

Apply Now
Wilmington DE

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

VP, Kafka Software Engineer

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Delaware

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!