The following article popped up on the NYLINE listserv yesterday, and I was reminded of a conversation:
Not Your Mother’s Library:
How Columbus, Ohio, is building community spaces for the 21st century
Years ago when I was in the midst of my information science coursework, I attended a family reunion. An older uncle shared with me that he had heard I was entering the library field. He said: Libraries are great. It’s just too bad they’re dying in this computer age…that librarians are a dying profession.
I was shocked! He thought I was taking a full course load and working two jobs just to get into a dying profession…? So I proceeded to tell him all about the reinvention of libraries – of libraries as thriving community centers, cutting-edge information technology hubs, and trusted institutions of lifelong learning. I was determined to rid his mind of that old stereotypical image of rows and rows of dusty stacks and Shhhh! signs. It turns out my uncle hadn’t been to his local public library in twenty or so years, and he promised me that he would visit soon.
Unfortunately, I’ve encountered these false beliefs and old, outdated memories of libraries on multiple occasions since. Why do we need libraries if we now have computers, the Internet, and Google? Do people really use libraries anymore?
Kudos to The Atlantic. It’s very helpful when mainstream articles like the one above spread the word about today’s AMAZING (and far from dying!) libraries.