They have once again become community gathering places, community bulletin boards and the home of community education. And with the bookstore boom apparently over, residents and students are rediscovering the library as the place for literature.
The key, however, is being in the forefront of changing technology, not bringing up the rear.
"Our basic role is the same as it always has been - we're a conduit between the public and the world of information that exists out there," said Matt Womack, executive director of the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. "What's changed is how we fill that role."
You can read the full story in the Daily Herald's edition from Sunday, February 17, 2013, or online at dailyherald.com.