Off the Shelf: Contest winner envisions library of the future
Hannah Winden, Essay Contest Winner
April 25, 2012
Filed under News
Our National Library Week Student Essay contest winner, Hannah Winden was chosen as the winner by the Vice President of Student Development Keith Cornille and a team of librarians. Her prize was an iPad2. Sheridan Bearheart was our runner-up and received a Kindle Fire. Congrats to the winners and all of those who submitted essays. They were fabulous.
– Julie Gores, Director of Library Services
“Welcome to the library of the future!” the robotic voice announced as I was escorted through the sliding doors. Men and women in black suits walked around quickly like bees in a hive. I don’t remember how I got here but this place sure is cool. The last thing I remember was being at the library and everything going dark after a thunderous boom and a flash of lightning.
I walked further inside and saw children sitting around in a room. “Story time begins in two minutes” the same robotic voice said. I walked and stood at the back of the room. The wall turned into a screen, the words of a familiar children’s story popped up about elephants. Then on the other half of the screen drawings of cartoon elephants depicted the story as a recording of a voice read it to the children.
I continued on my way and I saw the magazine section. People were standing there watching the interviews with the various scientists as they talked about endangered species and the albums different artists were releasing next month. The screens these were displayed on could be made larger or smaller just by simply dragging the corners inward or outward with your fingers. To go to the next article all a person had to do was simply swipe his or her finger to the side or say, “next.”
As I reached the nonfiction section I was told to enter a room. The next thing I knew I was back in the Civil War. The battles came alive around me as a soldier was on laying the ground wounded. I started freaking out and tried to help him when I realized he was just a 3D projection. A voice narrated the battle happening around me and explaining the effects the Civil War had on America. Then the scene changed and I was even further back in history. I was on a boat sailing to the New World. I couldn’t handle how amazing all this was. I left the room wanting to see what else this magnificent place had to offer.
I walked back to look at the fiction books they offered and I saw they had it set up like an “old” library. There were real books and for that reason I was glad because nothing is better than holding a real book in your hands and reading it. I looked for something interesting on the shelves and pulled out a book about sparkly vampires and werewolves. A woman in a black suit walked up to me and informed me that all of these books were available as a digital check out. I asked her what that meant and she said, “It means that you can read all of these books on any electronic device by logging into your library account. You can log on simply by going to the library website and click the login button. To log in all you have to do is scan your finger. It reads fingerprints. Would you like to check this out now?” I nodded my head yes and she held out the device she was holding and I pressed my finger to the screen. “You’re all set. It’s due in four weeks.”
Walking away with my book I felt ecstatic at how fabulous future libraries are. I strolled out the sliding doors I came in and heard a loud boom. I jumped awake realizing I was back at the “old” library and that it had all been a dream.