BUTTE —The Butte Public Library is hosting a fundraiser for much-needed upgrades to the facility. But in today’s digital world, are public libraries still relevant?
“Yes, they are, very much so. We still have plenty of books, and we still have DVDs that people physically get out, but we also have electronic books, we also have tablets for kids, and we have computers. Our computers are very popular,” said Librarian Shari Curtis.
More importantly, the library has information. Correct information about local events or research about family history. The library even recently helped some kids who were confused over a conspiracy theory.
“They came to the desk because they wanted pictures of Beyonce because they were convinced she was Illuminati and they wanted here with her eyes with Illuminati eyes, and those would fake, you know, no this is fake and this is how you can tell its fake, so every time you see something like this and it’s too good to be true and it's kind of out there, you always have to do more research,” said Curtis.
Debunking wild theories aside, some young people just enjoy the quiet, slow pace of a library.
“It’s like you can go to a coffee shop or you can go into a library, which is nice, it’s quiet, you can plug your laptop in and have free Wi-Fi and get your work done,” said Walker Wiggins.
Jennamarie Heesacker, 19, added, “Kind of endless opportunities of books and things that you can learn about, you know, if you just pick up a random book, you’re going to learn something that you might never learn just Googling something.”
The library is hosting a fundraiser on Jan. 28 beginning at 5 PM to raise funds for more books, upgrade the computers, and other maintenance.
“We’re there as part of the community to take care of the community and we love to interact with the patrons to know what they want,” Curtis said.
Admission is $15 at the door. There will be food, drinks, and an address by Montana Tech professor Chad Okrusch on Butte history.