Thursday, February 08, 2007

People Eternally Grateful for the Library

Will Sherman has written a great piece called Are Libraries Totally Obsolete? 33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians Are Still Extremely Important. His argument is very orderly and well presented. Everyone should read it.

I got my own evidence that library is still needed yesterday from the people who came by the reference desk and to my Beginning Internet class.

Early in the afternoon one woman said to me, "I'm in trouble. Can you help?" What she needed was actually very simple. I extracted a small bit of information from one of our newspapers on microfilm in less than three minutes. As she left, she said, "I'm eternally grateful."

After school, a student asked me for books on the history of movies. I gave her five books, including one on silent films and another on the pioneers of Hollywood. She gave me a big smile.

Later in the day another woman came to the reference desk. When I asked how I could help, she said that she had just stopped by to thank me for some information that I gathered for her family two months ago. I vaguely remember that I printed out several articles from a periodicals database. She said it was information that she had been unable to find on the Internet.

I had two students for my Beginning Internet class. One was recently widowed. Her husband had been skilled with the Internet, and now that she was on her own, she felt that she needed to learn. She said that she had called a government agency for some information and had been told that she would have to use their website. The other woman said that she was beginning to feel left out because all her friends are on the Internet daily. Both did quite well. They just needed someone patient to teach them some basic skills.

These transactions all support what Sherman says. It was an important day at the library.


Nancy said...

I also had someone come by this week and thank me for some stock information I had printed out for him a week or two ago. He wanted me to know he had bought some shares of the stock. I hope it does well!

thomas ford said...

I had someone come in and offer me their first born child. Okay, I didn't really.

ActLikeOne said...

*sigh* To have such a wonderful effect on people...