Getting Slammed by the Local Rag…
Note: This is solely my opinion and not the opinion of my employer or Trisha and Jolene for that matter.
Yeah this post isn’t YA related but it is library related. We’ve been slammed consecutively by our local rag both Monday and today. You can view the articles here: Attendence at Hawaii Libraries Drop and Libraries Need to Shift How They Serve The Public. Granted I agree with our public service hours not being optimal, but who slams the public library? Maybe we should run our public libraries more like a business like Gannett who owns The Honolulu Advertiser. We could lay off a tenth of our staff and outsource our production to some non-local company like they do. (Yes, I was being sarcastic.)
Seriously though, we are a public library system. The only statewide public library system in the nation. We have big libraries like the Hawaii State Library in downtown Honolulu as well as little libraries that service small communities on the neighbor islands. In some cases the smaller libraries only have a 1/2 time employee and are only open a few days a week, but you know what? They still have a presence in their community. You take libraries away from people, you’re taking away information from people. Are we just going to sit there and let big business run the way we think? Or are we going to support public institutions which promote many points of view. We aren’t here to compete with Blockbuster, Netflix, or Amazon we’re in the business of providing information needs at minimal cost–FREE.
We’re the generic version to any brand. So when the editor wrote “Our public libraries must be rebranded, and quickly, if they are to remain a vital free service that the state truly needs” I say, steer clear of branding public institutions. I don’t want to see “this book brought to you by Starbucks or Wal-Mart.” Or something like Lauren Myracle’s ttfn brought to you by T-Mobile. I’m in the business of helping people find and assess the information they seek. We are a free vital service. And I am reminded of this everyday when people ask me for help with the internet because they have no where else to turn and don’t know the difference between a left click and a cursor, when they ask for assistance on locating information, when they come in a just say “hi” because they know they’ll get a smile and a “hi” back.
Anyway I’m rambling now, but I just had to let out my little rant. Just because.