Libraries will never die – The Hawk Newspaper


Spend time at your local library

As a lowly circulation assistant, my job at the front desk of my local public library is unglamorous. I don’t have a master’s degree in library science (though now I know I’d really like to pursue one), and I can’t just lay around the whole shift, reading stacks of books at my leisure.

However, I interact with the public in a way unlike any other front desk receptionist. My time there convinced me that libraries are here to stay, no matter how much technology reshapes our world.

Thanks to such a unique work environment, I am offered a perspective not only on the people in my community and the type of services they need, but also on the librarians and the scope of what they offer to people. .

I discovered that public libraries are not simply places of study; they’re not just for consulting books or finding the latest issues of magazines; and these aren’t dusty, outdated buildings filled with nothing but scholars locating the phone numbers of old-fashioned customers who still prefer print to digital documents.

Libraries are beacons of empowerment. They exist to help us locate the resources we need and then show us how to put them to use. They spark the inspiration we all need, regardless of age or life journey.

From resume workshops and book club discussions to math lessons and Medicare assistance, public libraries are constantly trying to learn how their communities need support and what they can do to help. They are constantly evolving, seeking ways to empower their clients by allowing them to be self-sufficient so they can care for themselves and their families, and successfully achieve their goals and dreams.

Libraries serve the underserved. This reality is immense. We all feel empowered when we have the resources we need to function, grow and thrive. Yet so many people lack these resources, and public libraries are stepping in to fill that gap.

I see it daily. A recent widow, feeling vulnerable, asks for help using the computer. She needs to know which website to visit to print tax forms or how to order special light bulbs that only her husband knew how to find.

A discouraged old man who goes blind (who walked ten blocks to join us) and wants to learn how to use audio books so he won’t be deprived of the joy and comfort of his favorite pastime, reading.

A woman whose second language is English and who has difficulty understanding the medical bills she receives in the mail. Doctor’s offices and insurance companies don’t have the time or patience to “deal” with her when she asks them questions, so they pass her on to the next call center representative until that she is lost in a vicious circle of phone calls with no way out. calls with no real answers.

A high school girl who takes refuge on one of our sofas until closing time because she doesn’t want to go home, where a toxic and abusive family life awaits her after a long day of school. I could go on and on.

Librarians are passionate advocates. Yes, they encourage literacy and lifelong learning and they can put that new Stephen King release on hold for you. But they are much more than the Dewey Decimal System and human encyclopedias. They wear countless hats, from mentor and counselor to social worker and everything in between.

It’s true, some of the stereotypes about librarians are absolutely accurate. Many are quiet, introverted, and cat-crazy, but it’s these quirks and their nerdy natures that make them so valuable.

Their areas of expertise are often specific, so they are proficient in very specific topics that the average person is unaware of. They are also interesting people who have lived a variety of life paths and their paths enrich the branches they serve simply by their presence, their accessibility.

The customers who visit my workplace are as colorful and diverse as the books on our shelves. Every person who walks through the doors craves in-person interactions, empathy, and genuine connection.

Libraries will always provide something that no app, device, or digital encyclopedia could ever provide: human service. They preserve the human element, and that is why they will never die.

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