Liverpool Public Library, resource center for Liverpool residents

By: Madeline Rae , 9:13 PM GMT on September 19, 2016

Liverpool Public Library [Liverpool, New York]

If you don’t already have a library card, you should get one (Pro Tip: September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month). And if you’re thinking libraries are dingy caves where old books gather dust, then think again. Libraries across the nation have installed personal weather stations (PWS) and connected them to Weather Underground's PWS Network in order to provide free weather data for nearby residents. One such library is the Liverpool Public Library, located in Liverpool, New York.

The Liverpool Public Library is not just a book depository. They believe all public libraries should fill an important niche by providing in-depth resources for the local community. In Liverpool, a village located just 10 minutes from downtown Syracuse, you can visit the public library to browse local maps, historical photos, demographic information and terrain data (i.e. the village sits at 420 feet of elevation).

The library’s website has links to Liverpool-specific information, such as a video series on the history of the village, ancestral and family history records, licensed business directories, local ordinances, information on disability access, printed and digital media, community job boards and even a local coffee quotient (a measure of the number of Starbucks stores per 10,000 people). The library itself is equipped with WiFi, wireless printing (you can print from your phone), free photo scanning through their Kodak Picture Saver Scanning System, meeting rooms available for non-profit organizations and computer help from Mr. G, the tech guru. You can even apply for a passport or renew your old one.

Staff at the Liverpool Public Library like to focus on what is local, providing niche resources for Liverpool residents looking for information - information like the day’s hyperlocal forecast. That’s where the weather station comes in. Like many places across the U.S. and around the globe, weather forecasts were never very specific or accurate for the hyperlocal weather in Liverpool. By adding a PWS to their roof, the library was able to vastly improve forecasts and provide important weather data for the members of the Liverpool community.

The weather data page, which includes a webcam, is one of the most heavily trafficked pages of the library’s website. Staff members regularly consult the station’s forecast during lunch hours - is it nice enough to walk to the café down the road or should they stick as close as possible because it’s pouring buckets outside? Patrons of the library frequently check the PWS, as well as the webcam, in large part to see the road conditions. Liverpool is a particularly snowy village in the winters, making road conditions a constant topic of concern. Former residents of Liverpool, some of whom have long since moved away, still check the library’s PWS to connect with the village and see what is happening in their former community.

Liverpool Public Library’s motto is “Where the Community Connects.” By providing a community gathering place and disseminating important local information, not least of which is a hyperlocal forecast, they truly do provide a community connection.

Liverpool Public Library is also on every social media channel you could hope for, so check out their Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram accounts! And remember, September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, so find a library near you, get your library card and tell them to install a PWS (if they don’t already have one, that is)!

Check out Liverpool Public Library's PWS data!

Learn more about our PWS Network, or check out our buying guide if you’re considering getting a weather station of your own!

If you know a PWS owner using their weather data in new and innovative ways, let us know and they might be featured on Weather Underground!

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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