Blue light special: Aurora Public Library opens a branch in Kmart

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With the advent of such modern technologies as the Internet, social media, eBooks and instant messaging, print methods of research and leisure have experienced an obvious slump. The Aurora Public Library has decided to go with the flow, though, by offering more digital services, and offering them in new places: A new extension of the Aurora Public Library opened in the Kmart Super Center at 15200 East Colfax Avenue last month. After all, libraries are more than just a place to check out books and gather information -- even though they do an excellent job of performing that task.

"Libraries are a place for dialogue" between members of communities and to link communities together, says Betsy Baxendale, library supervisor for the north region of Aurora Public Libraries.

And that's the main goal of this new Kmart library service. People who don't regularly have access to computers, printers or the Internet can come in and use those services for either a free hour as a guest or as long as they like with a library card. Users can also use the computer center to order and check out books, which will be delivered to Kmart from the library.

Baxendale hopes the experimental branch will stay busy and serve as a model for the future. "It's the people, regardless of technology, people and the customer service," that will keep libraries in the community, she says.

The services are monitored by a tech-savvy employee who can help with any problems that may come up concerning computer usage. Users must be over the age of eight, or accompanied by a responsible chaperone. The "Colfax and Chambers Library Computer Center" is open Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; it's closed on Sundays.

Keep reading for more photographs of the library at Kmart.

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