Amplify’d from shareable.net
“People who talk about libraries dying out are the ones who remember the libraries of their childhood,” says American Library Association (ALA) President, Molly Raphael, from her home in Portland, Ore. “But the library of today is not the library of our childhood, and the library that children see today is not the library we’ll see in 20 years.”
These days, librarians need to not only be tech-savvy, but also play the role of teacher, research guide, electronic-information navigator and employment counselor. As communication and information become increasingly digital, libraries and librarians help people to keep up with what has become the norm.
in economically challenging times such as these, library use increases significantly
While the increase in usage can be attributed to people having less discretionary income for books and magazines, it is also due to libraries’ continued evolution. Offering musical scores, toys, art, CDs and DVDs, radiation detectors, portable smoke detectors, tools, kilowatt-measuring devices, zines, seeds and more, libraries have become lenders of a variety of useful items. Some even offer ways for patrons to contribute to collections through reviews, comments, the transcription of materials into digital format, uploading computer programs of their own design, and more.
Libraries in general are pioneers of the sharing movement. Long before organizations were “going green,” libraries were there, showing us how it’s done. In fact, libraries are a perfect introduction for people who are wary of the whole sharing economy. One can simply say, “It’s like a library, but for cars (or bikes or tools etc.).”
In general, libraries are working diligently to keep up with, and push ahead of, society’s curve. If we hold on to our nostalgic notions of what libraries once were, we deem them relics of a time gone by. However, if we support libraries through their evolutionary process, they remain vital community resources and hubs; unwavering providers of information to all, whatever form that information may take.