Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Why Public Libraries are no longer WELCOME in the MODERN WORLD

I have a theory that public libraries are tied to the Middle Class in society. And like the disappearance of the middle class in the 21st century, the loss of well-paying jobs, the weakening of trade unions, libraries can also see that there are many who don't want to pay to support something that doesn't directly affect themselves.

When you read about libraries today, you will often see the author repeat that he has not entered a library in many many years. And that is why the library isn't needed. "I" don't need it, so "You" don't need it.

It seems to be a lack of empathy that is killing libraries. You can do just minimal research to learn the part of the brain that guides or forms feelings of empathy is one of the last to develop and that it doesn't develop equally in everyone. You can have a highly developed brain in other areas, be a genius, but develop little or no empathy.

By Trade, the librarian is taught to say, We and You and They need this because the librarian represents everyone. "I need this" is not usually a factor in the decision process.

I'll acknowledge that this role does not explicitly represent empathy. Buying a GED book for the library because the librarian perceives a public need may not be a sign of empathy if that same public wants something else. Librarians believe they are building infrastructure. If there is a general need for something, a librarian considers that material part of the core of the collection.

The worst thing about the "I don't need libraries, so you don't" people is that they attempt to use logic to justify their narcissism:
I don't use libraries.
No one I know uses libraries.
Everything is on the internet.
Everyone has smartphones.
No one needs libraries.

But they don't even use simple reasoning to find out if libraries are useful: VISIT THE LIBRARY.

The most basic rule of science is to observe. Is the library parking lot full? Are people passing through the doors? Are they entering and leaving with objects? What are those objects? What behaviors do you witness on the inside of the library? What are the people doing?

I don't use an Apple iPhone or iPad, but I don't expect the company to go bankrupt because I have no need for their products. Because I can make these observations and apply critical thinking to what I see.

That there are some who don't want to see the need for libraries is just another reason for librarians to work harder to serve the people who actually need us. Otherwise those we serve would just be invisible.

No comments:

Post a Comment