My Library: It's not your Mother's

The building is not intimidating, but warm and inviting. My library evokes the senses and is appealing in sight and sounds. There are painted walls colorful with art-work from artists in the community and other emerging partnerships. The purpose of displaying art from local artists is to break down the walls of the physical library, to instill a sense of pride, and reflect the spirit of the community.

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New Sounds

There are no shushing librarians, but tones and chimes from customers with smartphones (sometimes annoying) that alert the users to scheduled events and their next appointment, class, or ride. Students are generally engaged in spirited discussion and cultural clubs meet to carry out their agendas.

Catalog

There is no card catalog, but an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). Stacks of books are removed; with a wide expanse of space created for upholstered chairs and a sofa. Outlets under desks keep technological gadgets charged. There is Wi-Fi access throughout the building. Many people use their personal lap-tops and tablets. Customers have access to a multitude of databases where full-text books and tens of thousands of full-text articles are downloaded. There is also access to digital movies and audio downloads, for free.

Librarians are committed to information literacy, and their skills are ever evolving. Information has become embedded in technology, and librarians are adept at innovation. They explore every format in which information is presented and have embraced the challenges of the digital age. Librarians continue to evaluate information and provide instruction to customers, for the public good. My library is a living thing, a wealth of resources, and a sense of place. It continues to bridge the gap.

How about your library?

About the author

Elizabeth P. Brooks

Elizabeth P. Brooks is a librarian at the Rasmussen University Tampa/Brandon campus. She has worked as a librarian for more than 15 years from coast to coast. Elizabeth has a B.A. in Sociology from City University of New York, Lehman College, and a M.L.I.S. in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute, New York. She has a passion for information literacy and is a member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Florida Library Association.

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