Educating the Community in Libraries

Libraries exist for two reasons. One is the storage and preservation of knowledge regardless of format and the second is the improvement of their respective community. One area of improvement is education. The latter requires involvement. Involvement means, that the library is not only the quiet place where people enter to look for something and have no interaction with anybody until they go to check out or ask for help. On the contrary, it is a place where things happen. The library is/must be alive.

One way libraries can offer education is with free classes. The other way is the challenging one and requires librarian involvement in any occasion this seems necessary. The challenging part here is that any advice or information provided by librarians may not be welcomed. It cannot be enforced upon the users. Consequently, such attempt must be abandoned, if it is not welcome. This development is not a failure for the librarians who should not be discouraged or offended.

There are people in today’s world open to new information, ideas, and knowledge in general. There are others who are afraid of it, simply because the new knowledge will change their status quo, meaning the way they are used to think or act. The latter people usually express feelings of hatred towards the new knowledge like: “I hate computers”. This is actually fear disguised as hatred, a fear that causes a complex to the person who experiences it and brings up frustration.

There are different ways of approaching people. Personality plays a significant role in this case. However, most of the times, the librarian will not able to figure out a person’s personality in the limited time of their interaction. In most cases such attempt will fail and will become useful experience for the future, for the positive messages it can provide to the librarian and not as a failure.

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