Why Libraries are as Important as Ever?
Surprisingly, the relevance of this question, or rather the need to defend the purpose of Libraries with this question, has to continue even today.
Just one word sums this entire endless argument.
It’s this superpower that makes Libraries as crucial as ever.
Libraries no longer are defined by a deep dark room full of bookshelves and dusty books from once upon a time.
Libraries are constantly reinventing, and the ubiquitous Librarian behind these new avatars is redefining the space.
For me, however, libraries have always meant books.
Books as mirrors and windows and glass door panes have never before sounded more authentic than this past year.
When the world was at home, I went back to books with my students during our virtual library class featuring Read Alouds.
During this particular time, we hid in the Annexe with Anne Frank and made connections with how she felt, dived into her journal and resolved to try and write one like her, went on an adventure called India with Nehru’s “Letters from a father to his daughter,” got charmed by the forgotten art of letter writing, explored more books with letters and started writing to friends relatives and strangers waiting to be friends through pen pals.
In my classes with the youngest students, I saw young parents sitting alongside soaking up Gajapati Kulapati and Dear Zoo, forgetting their pressing jobs and deadlines, enjoying the spoken words leaping from the books; sharing later how much they enjoyed.
We read aloud “The Boy who asked why ” and understood the burden of caste and how segregation is not limited to Rosa Parks bus trip in the US or Black Lives Matter -how we feel it every day but had no words for it. We read Malala’s Magic Pencil and understood how she made a difference. And how a forgotten TV show from my childhood inspired her, which sent the students watching and coming back to discuss.
We read The Zen Socks series and shared our feelings about going further and making a Zen Garden.
After reading My Secret Bully, we shared our deepest fears and secrets.
And we couldn’t get enough of Sringeri Srinivas, especially Once Again!
We started with “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” but landed up loving the very impatient caterpillar and metamorphosed into a new fan following.
45 mins once a week reading aloud together during Library healed all of us. It gave us a safe space to explore emotions we couldn’t find words to feel connected and healed us while the virus ravaged outside.
And in a small way, Libraries remained as important as ever.
By Sushweta Saha
The library is an evergreen learning place! To make it a ‘happening’ place at all times is entirely in the hands of proactive librarians. To bring the transformational change in the library practices from the traditional system, librarians learn and adopt new developments & technology. They are exploring the new way of teaching and learning process by collaborating with many educators. Spreading knowledge and supporting the user community with excellent resources is the top key quality of a passionate Librarian. The essential skills of a librarian, library practices, library collections, love, and helping the nature of the library staff towards the user community will bring the readers to Library Paradise. Librarians are always happy to fulfil the readers’ needs by providing wonderful collections, services, and knowledge in their world of resource banks. Students are missing the library classes in the present pandemic situation. They are missing a physical library which gives them the freedom to choose the books and enjoy the joy of reading. However, students are not ready to skip the online library classes! 100% attendance can be noticed during the library class! A dedicated Librarian and with the support of school management, the library has become the place to satisfy the reader’s thirst for knowledge.
Hence, libraries are as important as ever!
By Mangala Ganesh
It’s an old myth that libraries are outmoded relics of generation-old books and a belligerent librarian attempting to shooing the students. It is high time to rethink this misapprehension.
Libraries are particularly positioned locally as one of the few handful open spaces, and a place, in particular, where sharing of information is the essential objective. They are now –
- Creative maker space.
- Community rooms for connecting.
- In addition, it keeps an ability to rent a growing array of technology and other equipment.
Now let’s talk about Libraries’ responses to Covid-19. Libraries and librarians played an active role in open learning in uncertain times. From access to assorted resources to skill-building exercises, there are many more in the row.
Crowdsourced resources-With the hit of this pandemic, our librarian’s community collated ample open access resources to support literacy in schools. In addition, the learner’s community was well supported by creating customized websites to provide help on different themes—accommodating the needs of users who rely on library resources, through emails and personal telephone calls.
Librarians are working on library policy on pandemic counteraction and readiness – in the wake of ensuring that they are aligned with the school governing body.
Information Literacy Instruction at a distance – IB librarians are playing an essential role in building learning skills. They are stepping up to the front lines to support resilience in their communities during the pandemic and beyond.
So, to conclude, celebrate each day of librarianship as a tour guide in the vast world of information and a teacher who promotes literacy. Moreover, librarians maintain a firm belief that instilling equality, diversity, and inclusion practices necessitate complex problem-solving abilities in our surroundings. On the other hand, they work as a custodian to promote Academic Integrity in the school space, which is crucial to building an informed nation—empowering learners to become critical thinkers and skilled researchers that can affect the greater good.
ALAACRL, director. ACRL Presents: “Information Instruction at a (Social) Distance: Moving Library Instruction Online”. YouTube, YouTube, 19 Mar. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9yRr4bl1OY.
Nonko, Emily. “How Libraries Are Stepping Up as a Front Line of Resilience.” Governing, Governing, 21 Apr. 2021, www.governing.com/now/how-libraries-are-stepping-up-as-a-front-line-of-resilience.html.
Bella, Lauren Della. “Four Reasons Why Libraries Are as Important as Ever.” SHP, 27 July 2018, shp.com/2018/07/27/four-reasons-why-libraries-are-as-important-as-ever/.
Library as place. dysartjones.com/2012/07/library-as-place-learn-from-retailers/.
Vector – Librarian Working at Desk Illustration. www.123rf.com/photo_71261134_stock-vector-librarian-working-at-desk-illustration.html.
Ft. Vancouver High School Library Media . www.flickr.com/photos/wsl-libdev/5057990241.