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.



1 ping

Skip to comment form

    • Tricia on June 2, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Yes Michelle. Libraries will be about connections. Using our public space to hold programs and events that even the poorest can attend. Providing services and training, formal & informal, for the disadvantaged, left behind or newly interested.
    Providing “impartial” advice to many on how to find stuff etc. We will still have many roles that are important in a fully functioning, educated democracy

    • Naomi on June 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I absolutely agree Michelle – great to see more conversation about this. I think it’s inspired a future post for me, reflecting on a paper at ALIA IOC that was ALL about preserving the book. Happy blog every day of June!

  1. Here here! I totally agree. The video is a great overview of opinions on the future of libraries and librarians. Connections jumped out at me too when I watched. Making those connections is the most exiting part of my job! When I get to solve the riddle, crack the code and help someone find what they’re after!

  2. Nice to know that things jumping out at you is not only something I experience, lol. I also love make those connections and its not just about picking up two pieces and putting them together, but often about building up the picture of the pieces before connecting them. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Thanks and I really look forward to seeing that future blog post.

  4. And hopefully, our users, funders and communities will recognise that for many, many, many decades to come. Thanks for commenting.

  1. […] McLean reflects on the future of libraries as making connections; meanwhile Lutie the Librarian wonders how to keep her identity as a reference librarian when […]

Comments have been disabled.