Apple Magazine

THROUGH ALL THE TECHNOLOGY, READING REMAINS LIBRARIES’ FOCUS

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” — Victor Hugo

As a student in Marion Township Elementary School in the early 1960s, Diane Blinn probably didn’t know who Victor Hugo was. Even then, she understood what happens when words written on pages become books that paint all sorts of magical thoughts and visions in your mind.

To paraphrase songwriter Alicia Keys, reading set Diane Blinn’s mind on fire.

For 41 of her 64 years, Diane Blinn Wakefield has been director of the Beaver Area Memorial Library. It was her first job and will most likely be her last.

So there’s no doubt Wakefield knows who Victor Hugo is, what the French author wrote, when, why and specifically where to find his classic “Les Miserables” in print, as an audiobook and as a DVD in the unpretentious building at the corner of College Avenue and River Road in Beaver.

And within a minute, she’ll know which local libraries have Hugo’s masterpiece in their collections, courtesy of the Beaver County Library System’s automation system.

Best of all since 1998, any library patron from Beaver County can use a computer in the library or their own anywhere to search the 339,000-plus items in the system’s shared online catalogue.

A collective “wow” surely describes how automation

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Apple Magazine

Apple Magazine4 min read
Dubai Displays Tech Reputation With Global Robotics Contest
Seeking to bolster its image as a forward-looking metropolis, Dubai hosted the largest-ever international robotics contest, challenging young people from 190 countries to find solutions to global ocean pollution. Event organizers say their selection
Apple Magazine3 min read
Apple Commits $2.5b To Combat California Housing Crisis
Apple has committed $2.5 billion to ease California’s housing crisis, eclipsing similar pledges by fellow Silicon Valley giants Google and Facebook to address a lack of affordable housing in a region where affluent tech workers have helped drive up t
Apple Magazine3 min read
Japan’s Softbank Tumbles Into Losses Over Costly Investments
Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. tumbled into losses in the last quarter as its earnings were hammered by money-losing investments, including a bailout for office-space sharing startup WeWork. SoftBank’s founder, Masayoshi Son, said h