Library offering resources beyond books

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo and Erie County Library System is constantly looking for new ways to bring the latest resources to residents.

“Libraries are relevant,” said Mary Jean Jakobowski, the Library Director. “We offer a lot of different things for different people.”

Last year, millions visited the 37 public libraries around the county, seeing what they had to offer.

“Not eveyrone has the ability or access to these resources,” said Jakobowski.

Those resources vary from leisure books to educational ones to 3D printers, learning through technology programming and a recording studio.

Many people at the library say having access to those things is what brings them in.

“It makes it really easy for music artists to do what they want to do,” said Clyde Watkins, a Buffalo based aspiring hip-hop artist who goes by the name “Slade.” “For those who can’t afford studio time, it’s really helpful.”

“Being able to come to a place like that here in the library with such a collection of awesome stuff, for her to just get her hands on, work with and experience and learn, it’s great,” said Danon Alexander, as daughter, Mia, 6, spends time in the Library Launch Pad.

The Alexanders are from Olean and visit the Buffalo libraries frequently.

“Being able to go to all of the different libraries around Buffalo was her [Mia’s] thing,” said Alexander.  “It’s what she’d clean her room for; what she eats her vegetables for. It’s awesome.”

The Library Director says they’re frequently asking people what they’d like to see at the library.

“We’re always looking for alternate funding so that we can find those extra and unique things to bring in to the libraries,” said Jakobowski.

The library has brought in millions in alternate funding which allows the library to have things like computers and programming. These are things the visitors say are a big benefit for the community.

“The more of this kind of stuff you can get into people’s hands, especially kids hands, it’ll do amazing things for society,” said Alexander.

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