Taking the time to help you understand…

From a conversation I was having about communication in the library to what we need to do to keep libraries vital, came this little gem of a thought. Blooming libraries is apropos to my way of thinking, because we have had enough of hierarchy, enough of siloed content and enough of keeping our treasures in the walled garden. We have an information deluge, we have competing interests and choices, marketers and advertisers endlessly offering choice to make your life better. In the midst of all this, is the institution of the library. Libraries are organic entities that reflect their community, they grow, or wither, on the care of the users and the stewards.

We are considering changing the name of our users at my library from ‘customers’ to ‘members’. We need to think of ourselves as stewards, not custodians or gatekeepers, but holders of a trust, the memory of community and a place where it is possible to take the time, to move from the flow of facts to understanding, being able to place yourself in relation to what you need to know.

No one is telling you to go to the library, no one is telling you what to do when you arrive. We strive to present collections of information that you think will be useful to you, and we are there to help, to help you understand, and we will take the time to do it.

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