When I used to be a teenager, books used to be my "friends" who used to give me different type of advice. For many years, books have been a continuous source of ideas for personal and professional development.
What is the current role of the libraries? Somebody could think that with all the information available in the internet, the libraries are not as necessary as before. However, the libraries are re-inventing the value they offer to society. They provide services for all type of people in society, but not everybody has learnt how many benefits can be obtained from it.
The internet displays a wonderful amount of information available in a very convenient way, especially when you know what you are looking for. However, a library can provide access to information that you were not even aware that it could exist.
Today I had an appointment at the City Business Library with Sophie, one of the librarians who was going to show me the resources available at CBL.
One of the added benefits of a library is that when walking around it, you can remember ideas and areas of interest that maybe were forgotten. Talking to a librarian is a very interesting experience because when looking for information always there are different ways of approaching it.
Today, Sophie showed me in the City Business Library the different type of publications they have, such as magazines, books, reports, etc. and also the online databases and other information that multiplies the sources of practical information.
I think it is very important the role of the librarians that make the library accessible to different type of people in society. "Knowledge is power" and it could happen that the people in society that more could be benefited from the knowledge and services available in libraries are not even aware of them. Many years ago I used to think that librarians were like people working in a warehouse, whose role was to manage the books and put them back in the shelves. But when you start thinking about the benefits of the internet, the benefits of knowing how to find information, how to compare products and services, how to find advice, how to find free resources, the possibilities of online networking, etc. you realise the value of a librarian, and the benefits they can provide to society.
We can learn in different ways: courses, books, talking to people and sharing experiences... One of the benefits of living in London is the many opportunities that exist to network and learn from others. A librarian, the human face of a library, can contribute to increase the access to the library to the "hard to reach" members of the public, to increase their motivation. Training events like the ones organised by the City Business Library or the British Library are great opportunities to start learning about them.
I think it is a great idea for the City Business Library to have this initiative of showing the resources they have, as many people might not be aware of the availability of these resources and the benefits they can provide.
City Business Library