Ashe County Library launches new website


Staff Report



WEST JEFFERSON-Appalachian Regional Library announces its new website, which launched on Nov. 1.

The site replaces the former arlibrary.org, and serves residents in Ashe, Watauga and Wilkes counties.

Director of Libraries Jane Blackburn anticipates the new website will better meet the needs of residents by making it easier to find what is available at the library.

“The website’s design should make it apparent that our libraries are part of a system and that this means there are many more opportunities to find what you might need – be it a resource for school or work, a story time for your child or an informative or entertaining program for yourself,” Blackburn said.

Appalachian Regional Library enlisted the services of Cube Creative Design to revamp the existing site, making it friendly for mobile and tablet devices, as well as more accessible to users with visual impairments.

Among the website’s new features is a regional calendar that gives users an easy way to see what is programmed at all library branches, which are within a 35-minute drive of each other.

“Our libraries have tons of great things going on every week and we’d love to invite the users of each library to explore what their neighboring libraries offer,” Blackburn said.

Other online features to explore include the online e-book library and information about Appalachian Regional Library’s mascot, Arly the Fox.

Blackburn said that the library is responding to changing digital needs.

“More and more people use digital devices these days, if only by using a smart phone. Public libraries, while still offering print books, in-person information assistance, and live programs, also offer many digital services as well,” Blackburn said.

“Our mission is to provide reading material and information – in whatever medium the public needs – print, audio, personal presentation or digital resource. We offer access to computers and the internet. We offer free e-books. We loan out wi-fi hotspots. We provide computers so that folks can communicate with friends and family through email, can apply for jobs through online applications, can create resumes and can do myriads of other daily tasks that now require the use of the internet.”

Updating the website is the next step in keeping Appalachian Regional Library relevant for users of all ages.

“Libraries have always and will continue to be places that connect people and information,” Blackburn said. “Paper in the past, digital today – who knows what we’ll be doing in the future?”

Staff Report

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