Catch A Glimpse From Inside the Library...
Library moments brought to you by Librarian K
Every librarian has heard those dreadful words: “Libraries are dying” or “What’s the point of a library? Everything is online.”
Well, guess what? I am a librarian. I see the value of a library in our world of emerging technology:
As I work at the circulation desk assisting patrons, I welcome one of our regular patrons. She is a well-known face, and for the last 30 years has been checking out books – the good old fashioned kind made of paper. This nonagenarian* has also ventured into the audiobook realm.
Tonight, though, she is braving something new. She sits down with our tech tutor to learn about her new tablet, a gift from her granddaughter. She claims she is helpless and will have to set up a standing tech help session. But guess what? She’s coming back and she wants to learn. This isn’t helplessness; this is determination and the love of learning.
There’s an echo of laughter as she embraces the intricacies of her device. I hear the joy in her voice when she discovers that, even though these devices are new, she can figure them out. Thanks to a “dying” library, she is on her way to being tech-savvy.
*nonagenarian (n) - A person between ninety and ninety-nine years (inclusive); a person aged ninety.
Courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary.
What are your library stories?
What a great story! Love to hear 🙂
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nishita Shaw for over a year on technology issues. I can honestly say she’s changed my life. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and patient, and as a result I’m much more confident about all things technical. She’s helped me with several computer projects that I couldn’t have done without her. She’s always available, and has helped me through several computer “crises.” The whole experience has been a pleasure, and I’m very grateful.
I love libraries! Thousands of different worlds to visit in one room. What could be more magical?
Enjoyed the read!
Good point! Arlington Lib does a great job of maintaining what they do best – books – but is also willing to try new things like this (I really like the arts/crafts programming for example) and it encourages patrons to branch out.
My mom works in a library so we go back and forth about this a lot. I don’t think libraries are necessarily dying. I think they’re evolving. It’s true that almost everything found in books can be found online as well, however, nothing replaces the atmosphere of a library. When I was in college, I remember using the library as more of a resource center. Knowledgeable staff, copy machines, conference rooms, etc. were all things I couldn’t find just sitting on my laptop in my room. Just like Amazon can’t completely replace brick and mortar stores, the Internet can’t completely replace libraries.
I have to agree. Yes, libraries may currently be known as a repository for books, but they have always been much more. Sumer, Egypt, Nineveh, existed before books. Whatever the medium, whether papyrus, tablet, book, disc, or iPad, they exist as a repository of knowledge and education. Promoting research, giving assistance, and housing learning–whether technical or otherwise–has been their purpose since the advent of history. I would say evolving and adapting, not dying.
Jeffrey "Guybrarian" Brady says
What a wonderful example. I sometimes hear the “libraries are dying” comment… and I always invite the naysayers to my school library. If they could witness the vibrancy, joy and sheer love of learning my library inspires in people’s hearts, they would see how very wrong they are.
People forget that the VESSEL and METHOD OF ACCESS of information changes every few centuries, whereas the CONTENT of information remains roughly the same. Librarians throughout the ages (from campfire storyteller to modern meta-data maven) have been expert information mediators and will continue to be there to connect hearts, minds and souls with the world around them.
Thank you for sharing this. Kudos for your work.