Hi, Day 2, hope you have survived Day 1 of Blog Every Day of June. If you’re interested, you’ll be able to check out a daily summary of what’s been talked about on various participants blogs at Libraries Interact.
I was inspired for this post by a video compiled by Kathryn Greenhill of Librarians Matter. She interviewed librarians attending the ALIA Online conference in Sydney this past January, asking them What is a library and what does a librarian do. Check it out….
It was as I was watching that a couple of the interviewees mentioned connections. And that thought linked in to a lot that I have been considering. I have been reading everywhere about the future of libraries, with books about to disappear (lol) and everything being on the internet (lol and yawn – heard it before).
The future of public libraries has been of interest to my workplace too, as we work with our Councils to plan and build some more new libraries in the next few years. If libraries are going to be obsolete, then why do we need the buildings?
I think that our librarian interviewees have got it very right. Libraries and librarians have always been about connections. Libraries until recently at least, have mostly been about connecting the library user to the right book or the right information. (not ignoring the DVDs, CD’s, magazines, digital resources or many other things that libraries do). But if and when the book finally becomes less of a feature of libraries – due to online availability and wider accessibility, what will libraries and librarians be about then. We will still be about connections.
Whether its connecting users to facilities – whether its study space, online connections, equipment, meeting facilities, or connecting users to resources – whether its online or physical, in whatever form it may take, or even connecting users to other users – for learning, for sharing common interests, for a common goal or more. Librarians are connected to their libraries, to their users and to their communities, so are ideally placed to help others make whatever connections they need or want.
I don’t know what the library of the future is going to be like, but I do know that it will be about the connections that our communities need and want and that librarians will still be needed to make them happen.