So to mark the occasion (which internationally is a whole month), break out your book bags and head down to your local library!
It might be a surprise but libraries have managed to stay with the times, on your trip you might find yourself marveling at all the new and wonderful resources.You might find a 3D printer, free wifi, a collection of eBooks and eAudio books, a larger collection of free to use resources such as family history access and not to mention a even larger number of books.
In light of the day you might even find a ‘Blind Date’ book selection, whereby books are wrapped in brown paper and only small hints about the plot revealed. When you borrow your ‘date,’ you get a literary surprise when you get home.
As a qualified librarian myself, you may say that I am unreasonably bias in the matter, but libraries have been around for thousands of years and will continue to stick around for even longer. So what are you waiting for? Go show your local library a little love!
You need to be open to change. As with anything if you’re not willing to change with technology and your industry, you’re going to get left behind. Early on in my course it become apparent that the library industry is one that has changed with the times, however it was not something that everyone has embraced. Therefore the need to not only change but to be open to it is needed within libraries as, as our patrons shift, so must we and the services we offer.
Libraries are more than just books. The old stereotype of dusty libraries is a relic of the past, today you are more likely to see library space used for communal computers or study space. Modern libraries have embraced a range of technologies are offer a number of different services ranging from digital, social and educational.
There are many different ways to search for information. Whether this is simply through a database, catalogue or simply on Google, there are many different ways to search. There are advanced search options in a large number of search functions that allow you to narrow down your search, using Boolean Operators will increase the amount of useful information returned. It is important to remember that not all of life’s answers are going to be on the first page of the Google results.
When you think of libraries chances are you’ll think of books. This is by no means the wrong answer as for hundreds and thousands of years, libraries have been a ready source of books. However, as with everything, libraries have changed with the times and technologies. Such steady progression has seen many new features added to the repertoires of libraries, with new services being added and older one being updated.
To give an example, many libraries now offer a wide range of services such as:
Digital music collections (often restricted to a number of downloads a fortnight).
Online access to newspapers and their archives.
Family history services and specific website access.
Nation wide inter library loans.
Cultural collections (digitised or physical).
Free computer access.
Prints of images from the collections (eg Fie arts prints).
Some libraries also have on site cafes.
Home delivery services.
Technology education classes.
Book club groups.
These new and evolved services are purely examples, with each library and its offered services being different. Although why certainly, some libraries may have all of these services, others may only offer a few of them. In addition, the existence of special libraries which house more focused and subject based collections, has opened up an even larger opportunities for library users. Where before you would have to physically travel to a special library collection, or have the information scanned and sent to you, the digitalisation of special library collections has meant that you can now access the resources online.
Just as the creation of the Internet and the World Wide Web has revolutionised the way in which we live, so too has it greatly affected the services that libraries can offer. So next time you think about purchasing an eBook, or buying a magazine subscription, why not check out your local library and see what they have to offer.
“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the seas. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”
As a child, I remember the moment I got my very own library card. Until then I had been piggy backing off my Mother’s card but it wasn’t until I got my very own card that I truly felt in control of my own borrowing. The card was still kept in my Mother’s wallet but I could still walk up to the counter and the nice librarian could scan the books for me.
I don’t think we should ever forget the power of a library card. For a child, at least in my own experience, it was like opening up a whole new world of possibilities. No longer was my hand being held through the library, as I finally had the power to choose and consume the knowledge in the books I had borrowed all by myself.
Still to this day I remember my library card number, rather than that of my license or credit card number. I feel that just like the power of the library card, the library itself is still a important and powerful part of society.
Today we celebrate the completion of my master’s degree! It’s been two years in the making, is the culmination of seven years at university and on top of it all, a whopping big HECS debt but I’ve finally finished. I have a qualification that, I hope like hell, will get me a job.
What did you spend all this time and money studying, I hear you ask. Why a Master of Information Management, I answer. With these additional post-nominal letters added to the end of my name, I am a fully-qualified, bonafide and petrified librarian.
So in celebration of my achievement I would like to announce that the next month (or four posts) will be library themed. You’ll see top fives, an industry focused discussion, and even an informative guest post written by myself and the wonderful Amy from Lost in a Good Book (who also slogged through the degree).
So without further ado, I welcome you to What I Like & Why You Should Too’s library month.
In addition to this wonderful achievement of mine, I would also like to take the time to congratulate myself for only missing two of the fourteen blog posts for the last three months. The 40 hour a week study schedule may have had something to do with the missing posts but having a backlog of scheduled posts didn’t hurt 😉