What Are Libraries Good For?Presentation Transcript
what are libraries and what are they good for? LIB 601 Libraries and Learning Fall 2009
What is a Library?
OK, What is a Library?
“ A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.”
“ If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.”
Online Dictionary of Quotations
“ You see, I don’t believe that libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence, and that’s been the main reason for our policy of employing wild animals as librarians.”
Monty Python skit
Dictionary definition of Library?
Main Entry: li·brary
Pronunciation: 'lI-"brer-E; British usually and US sometimes -br&r-E; US sometimes -brE, ÷-"ber-E Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural -brar·ies Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin librarium, from Latin, neuter of librarius of books, from libr-, liber inner bark, rind, book 1 a : a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale b : a collection of such materials 2 a : a collection resembling or suggesting a library <a library of computer programs> <wine library> b : MORGUE 2
How do librarians define it?
A collection or group of collections of book s and/or other print or nonprint materials organized and maintained for use (reading, consultation, study, research , etc.). Institutional libraries, organized to facilitate access by a specific clientele , are staff ed by librarian s and other personnel trained to provide services to meet user needs. By extension, the room, building, or facility that houses such a collection, usually but not necessarily built for that purpose.
But what are they for?
What are libraries for?
Are they cultural storehouses that contain the best that has been thought and said? Or are they more like actual stores, responding to whatever fickle taste or Mitch Albom tearjerker is all the rage at this very moment? If the answer is the latter, then why must we have government-run libraries at all? There's a fine line between an institution that aims to edify the public and one that merely uses tax dollars to subsidize the recreational habits of bookworms.
Checked Out: A Washington-area library tosses out the classics by JOHN J. MILLER
One possible model
The Library as a Dictionary
Instead of embracing this doomed model, libraries might seek to differentiate themselves among the many options readers now have, using a good dictionary as the model. Such a dictionary doesn’t merely describe the words of a language--it provides proper spelling, pronunciation and usage. New words come in and old ones go out, but a reliable lexicon becomes a foundation of linguistic stability and coherence. Likewise, libraries should seek to shore up the culture against the eroding force of trends.
Checked Out: A Washington-area library tosses out the classics
Why bother, though?
What about the internet?
Libraries will have a crucial role for years to come no matter how much of recorded human knowledge makes its way onto the Internet. No one has yet come up with a proven method of preserving digital information for a century or more, and the explosion of knowledge and information abetted by the digital revolution makes the organizing and cataloging skills of librarians ever more valuable.
What about School Libraries?
A library in an elementary or secondary public school, charter school or non-profit private school serving some combination of grades K-12. Some also serve pre-kindergarten (PK), or may be combined with a public library or branch
Colorado Librarian's Survival Guide
History of School Libraries
Not vet well known!
Although the American public school library is one of this nation’s most ubiquitous educational institutions, we know very little about its history.
First sentence of:
A Pioneer of School Librarianship
Hannah Logasa (1879-1967)
General objectives of the library study-room:
To serve as the laboratory and workroom of the school
To make available library material for the use of teachers and pupils
To co ö perate with all departments of the school in the carrying out of their objectives
To serve as the centralizing agency in the plan of school organization
The High School Library: Its Function in Education (1928)