There is no there without a library

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-05-2017-0038
Publication Date08 May 2017
Date08 May 2017
Pages336-339
AuthorBruce Massis
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library & information services
WHAT’S NEW IN LIBRARIES
There is no there without
a library
Bruce Massis
Columbus State Community College, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide examples by which the library, in its role as an essential
service positioned at the center of a community, offers its services to not only a segment of the community but
to it in its entirety.
Design/methodology/approach This is a literature review and commentary on this topic that has
been addressed by professionals, researchers and practitioners.
Findings If it is to remain a viable, productive and trusted symbol of equality and humanity, the library
must ensure that, whether it is located in a village, a town or a municipality, the library stands as the center of
its community, with its doors swung wide and welcoming to all who enter.
Originality/value The value in exploring this topic is to offer several examples of evidence indicating
that the library is expected to continue in its role as an essential and respected community service, with
programs and services accessible to all into the future.
Keywords Community , Diversity, Libraries, Outreach, Cultural, Essential
Paper type Viewpoint
Introduction
This writer once received a phone call from a gentleman identifying himself as the
president of a public library board. As the Associate Director of a library consortium
supporting services to many public and academic libraries in a multi-county
environment, the writer served as a contact point for members of the public who had
questions regarding library and municipal procedures and policies. In his indication of
the town name by the caller, a simple search of that town name entered by the writer
came up blank. In verifying the town name, and its proper spelling, the gentleman did
indeed conrm its accuracy. A second search of local print sources also yielded nothing.
Finally, feeling a bit frustrated, as any librarian might when he or she cannot retrieve a
correct answer to a reference question, the writer explained that name of the town could
not be found. The gentleman replied, “Oh it’s not really a town yet, but it soon will be”.
The shock of recognition at that moment revealed that, even though the gentleman had
identied himself as a public library board president, there was no formally recognized
town where the library was to be built, but he and other residents of the new town had
urged him to seek guidance for the installation of what they considered to be one of the
most indispensable services that would be needed to secure the application for township
status with the local governing board. A library would certainly be one of those
indispensible public services. Therefore, his further response to the writer when asked
why he was seeking such guidance so early in the process, his answer was honest and
Declaration: I declare that there is no potential conict of interest in the research.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/2398-4803.htm
ILS
118,5/6
336
Received 8 May 2017
Accepted 8 May 2017
Informationand Learning Science
Vol.118 No. 5/6, 2017
pp.336-339
©Emerald Publishing Limited
2398-4803
DOI 10.1108/ILS-05-2017-0038

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