Looking for more ideas on why libraries matter? Check out ALS’s campaign “Libraries Matter” and the article in the journal Computers in Libraries (Sept. 2006) about the campaign. I have reiterated below some of the reasons why libraries matter that the article suggests and I have added in some of my own thoughts too. Being a next generation librarian, I’m interested and concerned with this conversation on why libraries matter!
“Libraries matter to job hunters seeking employment.” Public libraries have newspapers and databases which job hunters can search and also some libraries provide community information and will direct job hunters to other services in the community which may provide assistance.
“Libraries matter to seniors opening an e-mail account for the first time.” I have a slight issue with the ageism in this statement since I teach computer courses in a public library and it is not just seniors who come in to learn how to open an e-mail account for the first time. Nonetheless, the library is a great place for people to learn basic computer skills, and provides access to the Internet to people who might otherwise be unable to afford it.
“Libraries matter to parents teaching good reading habits.” And teachers who help to teach kids good reading habits!
“Libraries matter to children learning to love to read.” And to adults learning to love reading and even adults learning another language.
“Libraries matter to students of all ages doing homework.” And to anyone who researches to make informed decisions.
Libraries inform their users about which sources are authoritative and in the age of the information superhighway this provides immeasurable value to library users.
Pope, K. , Chenoweth, R., Bersche, K. & Bell, L. (2006). Starting and Running the ‘Libraries Matter’ Campaign. Computers in Libraries 26(8) pp. 6-8, 55.