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Why Libraries are so important ( to me ) . . . .

In Libraries on September 13, 2013 by mrsdilemma

recently, here in Christchurch, there has been a substantial amount of discussion about a new public library and for me this seems like a discussion about my future, I feel that I have so much invested in this discussion and yet I no involvement in the process at all.

let me explain what I mean – I qualified with a diploma in Library and Information Science in October 2010. Six weeks previously Christchurch had been hit by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that damaged our city, I was employed at the time and felt no desire to make a drastic change at a time when the city was constantly shaking – when we were hit again on February 22, 2011 we lost a lot more than buildings, we lost 185 lives.

We also lost library jobs, my employment prospects plummeted and I became thoroughly disheartened. I am still employed ( in a bookshop, so that takes away some of the pain. . . ) but now my qualification is 3 years old and I still have no on the job experience. So that’s why building new libraries in Christchurch is my light at the end of the tunnel.

Recently an article in the Christchurch Press questioned why we are spending $89 million dollars on a new central library at the dawn of the electronic book age?

The libraries and Information manager answered that question, but now I get to add my two pennies. Yes the internet has changed the world we live in but it has not dulled our thirst for knowledge, our sense of community or our desire to curl up in a comfy chair with a good book.

A new library isn’t just about books, or even things that look like books; magazines, newspapers, CDs and audio and e-books, its about the community meeting spaces, the council service centre, the free Wifi and internet, its about the programmes the library offers for the community; mums & bubs, pre-schoolers, afterschool-ers, homework clubs, computer skills. .  the list goes on.

The library isn’t about anything other than connecting people with information there is no hidden agenda. Its about teaching people how to find what they’re looking for,  its about providing a range of opportunities for individuals to learn, to grow, to engage and to rebuild ourselves as we rebuild our city. That’s where I come in. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, connect people with information, throw me a problem and I’ll find you the solution or at least some opinion pieces that will attempt to convince you of the merit of their solution!

The city needs a new library and I need a new job – perfect fit really.

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