Your Librarian Still Matters
When asked to conjure up the image of a public library, most people think of books. For hundreds of years, books were the beating heart of libraries. However, libraries have had to move with the times—they’ve been evolving in the digital world and adapting to the changing needs of cultures and societies. These days, the books in a library are only one aspect of a greater whole and these institutions now offer limitless amounts of informative, educational, historical and cultural documents in various media formats—as well as community centered programs and initiatives.
The rise of the digital age and the evolution of libraries have increased the variety of roles available to librarians. Although it is still a vital role for librarians to connect people to the vast amount of information that is available, it’s also the job of the modern librarian to offer guidance and use their fine-tuned knowledge to aid library users. Librarians are highly educated and passionate about helping the community and it’s a job with with a valuable service that deserves respect.
Librarians Aren’t Just on the Frontline
Although customer service is an integral part of librarianship there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes that library users might not have realized. It is the librarians who are in charge of selecting the books and media documents that are made available to the public and to create bibliographic records so that is possible for library users to find what they need in the library catalogues. Libraries now offer some resources online which require constant maintenance by staff members and librarians are often trained educators—thanks to the excellent online MMLIS programs available—they are able to educate the public, for example teaching people digital literacy’s such as how to stay safe online.
Libraries are Integral to Communities
Librarians interact with members of society on a daily basis and therefore they are often the first people to recognize local community needs. Because of this, it is often libraries that bring social needs to the attention of the local government or social agencies and then partner with these organizations to help bring about positive change.
It is often the programs and activities hosted at public libraries, such as baby story-times and book clubs, which connect people who would not normally associate with each other. These sessions can also be crucial in helping people who might be going through tough or difficult situations, for instance first time mothers or children who are new to the area, to get support from their community and make new connections.
Libraries are the “People’s University”
As education becomes increasingly expensive, it is liberating to know that public libraries continue to be a free source of educational and informative opportunities for everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Many libraries present classes and offer discussion programs which are open to anyone who wishes to attend and there are even remote access opportunities so that those who can’t get to a library can still access the library’s resources. Many esteemed educational establishments, including the University of Southern California, offer budding future librarians the chance to embark on first-rate library science degrees so that they can lead successful and rewarding careers educating future generations and helping to make communities stronger.