I had an interesting conversation with a colleague at work. We talked about different communities and how they dictate, to a point, their respective library’s approach. Each community has its own characteristics, although commonalities exist between communities. It feels like each community has its own personality, which reflects on the library’s personality and functions. The community’s personality exists above its diversity. It is the result of the blend of all sub-communities included.
Libraries are not different from schools or other public places with a certain function. The idea of a school remains the same but each school is different and creates different feelings to people. People sometimes assume that all libraries are the same. Granted that there are common functions and a common over all idea of what the concept “library” means, there are different approaches and procedures, which reflect the community’s personality and give the library its own. The environment also plays a significant role. Obviously, each library has its own set up, furniture, and decoration, which create a unique environment. The unique environment creates unique feelings to people.
The differences mentioned above may affect the users who visit more than one libraries. They may also affect the staff that works in more than one libraries. Adjustments and adaptations are inevitable and required for both sides. The interesting thing is that these differences may affect the staff’s behavior as well. A librarian working in two different libraries may have different behavior in each one of them. Finally, an important factor is the director’s personality. Since each person has a unique personality, each director will add his/her individuality to the library’s personality. No two libraries can be the same!