It is commonly stated that the library is a safe environment where everyone who enters is treated equal, and where individuals’ goals can be achieved. Libraries are known as ‘tech hubs’ a place full of resources, and furthermore, a facility to cultivate and make dreams a reality. Libraries are used by families, students, teens, employed, unemployed, business owners and everyone in-between, each one perceives the library in their own unique way.
The amazing contribution and presence libraries bring to their communities is undeniable. However, it is also important to stop and listen to what library visitors think when they consider their local library or libraries in general. So, the question to ask is, “What does the library mean to me?”
In this post, we’ll take a look at quotes from people all over the world, from different demographics, backgrounds and stages in life; but all have been asked to share their personal thoughts, on what the library means to them.
The library to Tara
“The library to me, is a place me and my family look forward to going every fortnight. I have young children who are excited by the fact that there are so many books to read and expand their imagination. The library also offers many fun activities, from dinosaurs, to cars, to learning their numbers and letters, it is all at the library.”
– Tara, Australia
This quote signifies one of the strongest pillars in a library’s foundation, bringing families together and bringing joy and happiness to both parents and children. It emphasizes how many see the library as a fun and outing place for the family. This is a great message to instil in all communities as it promotes learning and sharing as a fun family event.
The library to Pernille
“The library to me, is a place where it is okay to not have the answer. It is a place where you are safe to ask questions and have many resources to help you find answers. The library is a place I can go to expand my knowledge.”
The ability to fearlessly ask questions and to receive assistance in finding answers, makes the library a safe haven for personal development. Leveraging the library’s resources and the many incredible skills of librarians, ensures libraries are eternally linked to learning and development.
The library to Don
“I have not been much of a reader, as I am more of a ‘in the moment’ kind of guy. When travelling the world, I often found myself ending up in libraries in many different cities. The libraries were this amazing extension of the city that I was visiting. The creativity, flair, and architecture embodied by the library made it a place to explore, interact with and learn in. From someone who does not consider themselves an avid reader, libraries really welcome me “IN” and provide way more than books. It was a whole experience and moment.”
This quote is a great reminder that libraries are not limited to just books! There is a pulse, a current of energy running through libraries, which is felt and harnessed by visitors during the time they spend within those walls.
The library to Liina
“A library for me, is a place of knowledge. It is full of different books from various topics and it just waits there for somebody who can come and read. Also, it is a place where to go when I want to study or do deep work because everybody respects the silence and I can work and concentrate in peace. Furthermore, it is a place where to escape from daily boring life and follow along an adventure of your favourite fictional characters.”
– Liina, Estonia
A great description of how libraries can be multi-functional, offering a haven of a different nature at different times of requirement. The library is viewed as a place to “lock-in” in order to complete important tasks or achieve ‘time satisfaction’ but also as a place to escape the many stresses of life, and even to find entertainment in the library collection. This versatility confirms the library as a facility which provides necessary spaces for all walks and stages of life.
The library to Robert
“Libraries saved my studies when I was in my teens and through college. If I needed more information on a topic I was researching, I would go to the library. Needed a quiet place with little to no distractions to do group work? To the library! It’s safe to say, without my local library my grades would have been worse, and maybe I could not have gotten where I am today.”
– Robert, Hungary
A classic sentiment tied to libraries but will always be an important feature. No matter what stage of life a person is in the library is seen as a place to learn, study and develop.
The library to Anca
“The library is where I discovered Japanese literature and fell in love with my favourite author.”
– Anca, Romania
Discovering new passions and inspiring individuals further confirms the unique, multi-faceted institution that a library is. Allowing visitors unrestricted access to culture they may not otherwise have been exposed to, enables people to learn more about their own interests and hobbies.
Love of Libraries
As reflected by the numerous quotes above, it does not matter what country someone comes from or what stage of life they fall into, the library is an important place for everyone and positively impacts each journey through life, in a unique way.
This is what makes libraries important and versatile to the communities and people they support. They are a facility providing many significant resources equally to all. Every library visitor sees their library’s importance in their own way. Libraries can wear this achievement as a bright badge of honour to commemorate the dedication that has been shown to communities and individuals through their work.
So next time you interact with your library’s visitors, ask them what the library means to them. You will be amazed at the unique and passionate responses.
We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!
Want more insights from libraries across the world?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our blog to receive new library insights directly to your e-mail.