Quotables from the Strongest Librarian in the World

It’s now over four months since the Internet Librarian 2013 conference ended. I can’t let these lines go to waste, because they’re too good to hide. They are from the closing keynote of the conference, given by Josh Linkner, of Salt Lake City Library.

It’s not our job to create a better library. it’s our job to create a better community. (Dir of SLC library)
For those who think libraries are going away because people are finding the information and the recreational reading they need at Google and Amazon, this statement may seem to prove their point. Abandoning the traditional roles of providing information and reader’s advisory services, of preschool storytimes and summer reading, isn’t the point here. Closing the technology gap and creating opportunities for members of the community to learn skills and become qualified for school and employment is what’s important now. Offering computer classes, GED prep, homework help and job-search resources. Making ourselves an active and engaged member of the community by participating in community events, visiting schools and organizations, partnering in literacy and oter programs, and maintaining an approachable and friendly presence in social media puts a “human” face on our organization that makes it easy for community members to think of us for their information and skills-building needs.

The purpose of a library is to make people free; freer than they would be without a library.
The library, if it’s doing what it should, provides information that supports the major sides of important issues so people can form their own opinions. The library supports continuing education for every member of the community and provides the opportunity to ask and answer questions about anything, without censure.

The library is a place where, when you step through the door, you acquire dignity.
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