Hello, 2011. I’m back

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Because I have moved away from my native state and all things that had been familiar to me, I am experiencing first-hand how greatly the internet has impacted my life. Whenever I get homesick, I log on to my hometown websites to reconnect. That is, of course, in addition to keeping in touch with friends back home via email. And Skype, if I used it. Oprah made Skype famous on her television show. She interviewed dozens of celebrities thanks to webcams and video feeds. Both sender and receiver need to be signed up for Skype to use it. That is not the case with my Magic Jack, but then, it does not require a webcam and acts like a regular telephone.

So, before I get too far off track, I wanted to let you know that I have stayed “in touch” with happenings back in Michigan City by visiting local websites. I’ve noticed some changes since I last accessed them. And so, I’m commenting about that this week.

Michigan City Public Library (www.mclib.org). I love the new home webpage, yes, indeed! It has been at least 3 years since I last visited. What used to be static and boring is now bright and lively. First thing you’ll see is a listing of the month’s events within the library and without. Once upon a time most library websites were no more than digital card catalogs, with links to other places of local interest. That’s not to say that the online catalogs are gone. It’s just that there appears to be more information on the site. It’s shiny, bright, and more inviting. Kudos to the Web designer. I want all Michigan Cityzens to take a look at the website. But I will give away one little slice of information I found at mclib.org: they list eight establishments, within the city, along with addresses, that offer wifi. That’s a new bit of information that libraries can offer the public. The times—they are a changin’ and our local library is right on top of things.

 

Westchester Public Library (Chesterton) (www.wpl.lib.in.us). Notice the web address? It is much more cumbersome than Michigan City’s. Somewhere within the state, a person decided that the public libraries could use “lib.in.us” as a recognizable part of their url. Listen: it’s difficult to remember, and not fun to type in. And let me be the first to tell you that I’ve been loyal and biased towards Chesterton’s library. Not only was I a patron, I worked there for a few years. But, I think Michigan City’s homepage has Westchester’s beat. Not that they are in a contest against each other. It’s just a visual, and an access issue. Their home page declares the theme of the summer reading program for kids. Nothing wrong with that. I guess I wanted to see a more inclusing community events listing link somewhere on the site. One bonus the Chesterton library can brag about it its downloadable books.

We Are MC (http://wearemc.us). When I registered at this website founded by long-time Cityzens, there were fewer than 1.000 people registered. Presently that number has jumped to 5.000. Isn’t that terrific? This is a place where grads from Rogers as well as Wolves’ alumni can reconnect, recount days gone by, mourn the loss of former classmates, relate interesting bits of history, announce upcoming reunions, and, well, just stay connected. Not being a graduate of a school in Michigan City, I did not belong there, but I was embraced anyway by the online community when I wrote a Beacher feature years ago about the sock hops downtown. If you want to read about that, log on to the Beacher.

The Beacher (www.thebeacher.com). How many of you access online the greatest little paper around LaPorte County? I know, I know. I like the feel of the extra-thick and classy paper in my hands, too. But if you want to find articles from a decade ago, this is the website that will accommodate you. Don’t take it for granted. The Beacher is a great little paper, even if I am biased about saying that.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on June 15, 2011.

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