In May every year, libraries and information services throughout Australia celebrate Library and Information Week and highlight the vital role and value of libraries. This year’s theme – Libraries: your passport to discovery – highlights the self-directed discovery element of libraries and celebrates libraries as the place to access, communicate, connect, educate, entertain and inform. Libraries connect people to ideas. It’s a vital part of our commitment to promoting the free flow of information and facilitating all Australians’ access to recorded knowledge, information, and creative works.
Generally speaking libraries are under utilized. Part of the reason is because librarians (myself included) are not very good at publicity. Most librarians are introverts so they don’t do well at advertising all they have to offer. (When I worked at a university library I always found morning tea quite amusing. It was so quiet compared to other places I had worked. Generally though, there would be one poor extravert engaging in an uphill battle to get a conversation going!)
So this is my plug for libraries everywhere. They are not only great places to find information but also to find some space that’s not bustling with activity. During the horrendous bush fires three months ago, librarians found people would wonder into the local library – if it was still standing – for some time out. The evacuation centres were so hectic people found libraries to be a refuge. Libraries are also a refuge to young people from chaotic homes and older people who need a place to wait for appointments. Librarians are also a great resource for learning more about the internet, email and online resources. Generally they are also good at trouble shooting basic computer difficulties. So visit your local library today!
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