Myths About Libraries

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Recently it has come to my attention that there are still pervasive stereotypes and myths about libraries and what you can and can’t do in them. I work in a library, and I have come to dispel some myths about libraries. Now, this is relevant to the library system I work in, and may not be the case for all systems. If you are ever unsure about something your local library worker is more than likely happy to answer your questions or clear up any confusion. We don’t mind questions and we enjoy talking to you!

It’s A Quiet Place

One of the things that I often hear, even from my own patrons, is that the library is a quiet place. Libraries are not necessarily quiet anymore, and that is because the impact of the library is changing; but also what it is used for is changing. What was once supposed to be a quiet space has morphed into something different. If you’re looking for a quiet space to study in a library that is mostly open and/or one room, the best thing to do is to ask the staff some questions. The first is if they have any study rooms! We’ve got two at my branch, and they’re always in use. They help muffle the everyday sounds of the library. The second one would be what is the quietest time of day? Generally, that means when the kids are in school and storytimes are not going on. If you come in during a storytime hour it is going to be chaotic, an it is going to be load, so be aware of that!

It’s Only For Adults and Research

The nice thing about one of the changes is that libraries are for everyone. As I mentioned, we have storytimes for little ones! We offer programs for all ages (even if some ages feel libraries are boring) and we welcome everyone. Libraries aren’t just for research anymore. Libraries have become meeting spaces. People gather and have fun, and this ties into a quiet place to work. We’ve got meeting rooms that people use, and it isn’t always quiet! In most places libraries don’t charge you to use the room, but as non-profits no exchange of money can happen on the premises.

Don’t Be Afraid to Recommend Books

People are sometimes scared to recommend books because they think they’re the only ones who want it. I promise you aren’t! If there is one person looking for a book, there are likely more. If you’re too embarrassed by what you want to suggest many libraries have anonymous suggestion boxes or we’re listening boxes. Feel free to pop your suggestion into there instead! Libraries are supposed to be non-judgmental! We like to know what is popular, and what people want to read!

We Are Happy To Help

We’re always happy to help! We might not have the answer right away, but we’ll do some digging and see what we can help you find! Sometimes it may take a few days to find the answer, but we’ll do our best. While this may be a short paragraph, it is an important one. Never be afraid to ask!

Technologies

We don’t just offer books for checkout – many libraries will offer cool items to checkout as well. We currently offer chromebooks and wifi units for use. Some libraries even have telescopes, power tools and other useful items for home renovation! Of course, this is all dependent on your library. There are many cool things libraries are doing now, and you should see if your local library offers any of them!

In Conclusion

Libraries can be terrifying places, especially if you have anxiety or haven’t used it in a while. But, they’re also amazing places to be!



2 replies on “Myths About Libraries”

Kristina says:

Oh that’s one interesting post ! Thank you to clear some of the misconceptions!

I can’t really comment on the « being silent », as I only went to mine once 😂 but I don’t recall it being noisy either – I do remember having people of all ages though! Older people or immigrants using the computers there for potentially job related stuff, and when I was younger we had a little summer thing at my local library — i loved it so much !!

Mere says:

We still do the summer reading at ours! It is always a hit!

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