Libraries are alive and well in 2009. The cornerstone of my youth, brick building on the corner, housing an unlimited number (it seemed to me) of mysteries that kept me awake at night, under the covers, flashlight in hand. They’ve changed a bit.
My current enrollment at Wayne State University in the Library and Information Science Master’s Degree program is giving me quite an education. Libraries are Information Access points. The librarians are Information Access Specialists.
Want the answer to a question? Google it or Ask a Librarian. What’s the difference? Google will provide you a list of websites that have a pretty good chance of providing the answer to your query, if you searched correctly and if you choose a reliable source from that list Google gave you. However, the librarian will probably ask you a few questions to make certain that the question they hear is the one you truly are asking. Then, they will tell you where they found the answer and what it is. Chances are very good it will be an accurate answer from a reliable source and current.
How’s that for an information source? No charge of course. Public Libraries are funded by the municipality, so you paid for the service when you sent in your taxes. There are no charges for the information services, or the movie rentals at the Public Library.
So, why do we hesitate to ask our questions or use their services? I think we don’t know what an excellent resource is available to us. The center is usually close in the neighborhood, but you can talk to them via live chat, or telephone. Just ask for the Reference Librarian.
Get online and find out if the movie you want is available or the music CD and then reserve it online. You can drop by and sit in a comfy chair and browse any of many magazines in all sorts of interests and take home the movie of your choice, free of charge.
Check it out.