Earlier this decade, the library’s vision was access to information. Before that, much before that, say 1894, the library’s vision was free books for all. But how quickly we’ve changed. Today it’s all about connection.
Connection to the world through internet access
Connection to vital public services through the same
Connection to community through programming
Connection to others by being out where people congregate
There’s so much talk of the library without walls. Where the library comes to you not you to the library. Where you can get a book or movie online and use it on your ipod. Where you can go for enlightenment, entertainment, or just to chat. Virtually, in person, in chat rooms, however you want, whenever you want. It’s about collaboration, conversation, and yes, most certainly, connection.
As Norma Blake said, people are looking to be noticed in libraries, missed when not there. They want longer hours, adequate parking, something to eat, a forum for conversation. Libraries need to ask the ultimate question: would you recommend us to a friend?
And as Joan Frye Williams said, “What got us here won’t get us there.”
And then there’s John Moorman, the Director at Williamsburg Regional Library, who said, “We give good public service, we are responsonsive, we are there.”
At the end of the day we would all say the same.