Saturday, August 11, 2012

Time to stop trying to save libraries?

The Aug. 8 American Libraries Direct prints the opening excerpts/summary of a blog by R. David Lankes with the provocative title, “It’s time to stop trying to save libraries.”

Lankes acknowledges the libraries need more funding, modernization and “a shifted identity in the minds of our communities.” Some libraries, he states, need to be saved from closure but not the entire profession.

“By taking on the mantra of saving libraries,” according to Lankes, “we are assuming that we are weak. Worse, it plays into the whole idea that we are wounded or broken.”

A better alternative, according to Lankes, is to appeal to supporters’ self interest by emphasizing how libraries help communities unleash their potential and thrive. The statement, “Hi, I’m a librarian,” should be a declaration of pride.

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