Technology is Taking Over, and Cabell County Public Library is Following Suit

The age of the internet has made many changes to Cabell Library, most recently its magazine section.  

“We have thousands of magazines, and you can search them by audience or language, or type like craft magazines,” said Sara Ramezani, the library’s assistant director for Popular Services. “You can sort them by preference or in alphabetical order or search right in the search bar.” 

The library originally had less than 50 options for readers to choose from.

Now, with their new online resource, Libby, they have access to over 3,600 magazine titles.

Their magazine access is different from books and audiobooks.

Online readers are limited to having 10 books at a time, and whven one is checked out by someone else, the reader is placed on a waitlist until it becomes available again.

Magazines are limitless; there is no maximum number or time that you are allowed to access it.

It can also be held by more than one reader at a time.  

“Most likely it is just one click away if you have a library card and pin number,” said Ramezani.  

Magazines, books, audiobooks, and music are all available through the library’s digital collection. 

Library cards provide access to free music streaming through the program Freegal (free, legal, music). 

“If you like music like me, you must have a free application and service that we offer that you can stream unlimited music per day without commercials. You can download twenty songs a month and it is permanent without paying for it,” said Ramezani. 

Alaina Laster

The resources available through the library are free to use with a library card and pin number.

As a Marshall University student, or a resident of the Tri-State Area library cards are free.  

“Using a library, the statistics show that we are still working, and that we are still used. That is my goal, I want to see that those things we pay good money for are used,” said Ramezani. 

“One of the things we do because our collection of magazines here in this building doesn’t circulate, we are always seeing what’s being used and what’s not being used,” said David Owens, assistant director for Adult Service.  

Owens said the goal is to look at what they have physical copies of and plan accordingly.

Those that are being read more often will be kept while the ones that are not may be removed but would still be available to readers via the online resource.  

“It doesn’t impact access either because if you want to look at a magazine in this building you have to be in the building to look at it, and if you are in the building, we can get you on a computer to look at it, so it doesn’t diminish access,” said Owens.  

Ramezani said libraries are a source of information, reliable and not so reliable.

The Cabell Public Library will not ban, or police the resources people use, but staff understand the importance of researching through reliability.  

“We as libraries, and public libraries specifically, think that public education is about being conscious and aware of false news, fake news, wrong news, anything like that,” Ramenazi said. “We do not filter, and we do not ban but we do want to educate and teach people that you have a way to recognize the reliable resources, not something that somebody shared. It is our responsibility as librarians to try to provide that information for people to be educated.” 

Owens said if a person visits to conduct research, the librarians will help them find the correct sources. 

“Working in a library system, it is so engraved in you that you provide an authoritative source that it seeps into everybody’s psyche when you work here that that’s what they do,” said Owens. 

The sources available are available to all, and it is up to readers to make the decision of whether they trust it, said Owens.  

“If somebody wants to look at unreliable stuff, we can’t stop them. We are not here to police but if somebody has a legitimate reference question, one of the things we always do is provide the source material for them so that they can then make their own informed decision as to whether that is reliable or not,” said Owens. 

The library is located at 455 9th St. in Huntington.