About the Library Director
Meet Kim Bell, our library director.
My name is Kim Bell. I have been the library director since 2007. I firmly believe that the library should be a friendly place where the citizens of Hampton and Franklin County can go to get the latest books, and information. We also provide children's programming, which is very important because these children are the readers, leaders and library users of tomorrow. I believe that the library's collection is not important as objects but for the knowledge they contain. A Library should not be confused with a museum. The library's main focus is to add useful items to our collection and make them accessible to everyone. The staff and myself are the connection between you, the user of the library, and the materials you need and in the format you want it in.
Recently libraries and librarians are faced with a new challenge, eBooks and eReaders. Even when library funding is decreasing or just staying flat, libraries are purchasing eBooks for a variety of reasons. The first reason is access. Offering eBooks extends content beyond the physical boundaries of the library. In a digital world, our patrons can access the library's website and our collection of eBooks 24 hours a day. Libraries are reaching a whole new group of library users with this new technology.
Furthermore, there has been an explosion of interest in eBooks and eReaders. Recent studies show that the number of Amerians owning at least one of these digital reading devides jumped from 18 percent in December to 29 percent in January 2012. One of the problems facing eBooks in libraries is that they are more expensive than print, and their use is restricted with digital rights management. Content is leased rather than owned because of vendor license agreements and often annual fees. Publishers are also becoming a problem because they are not partnering with libraries. For example, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin do not sell eBooks to libraries or library vendors. In addition, Random House raised its prices on March 1st, tripling the cost of some eBooks for libraries. Companies like Amazon hope that readers become accustomed to buying their books and bypass the library all together. Despite all the problems, the Hampton Public Library does provide patrons in the Franklin County area with access to eBooks. The waiting list is long on popular eBook titles because the only way libraries could start building their brand new eLibrary is to join together and form a consortium. That means that all the library patrons of the consortium are accessing the same eBooks, not just Hampton Public Library patrons.
The good news is that adults and children are still reading in record numbers. Remember if you don't use your library you might lose your library.