Posted by: bluesyemre | January 1, 2016

Silence is not so golden in the modern #library


”Using information, learning and reading are not just solitary activities” … Alex Byrne at the Warilla library. Photo: Sylvia Liber


WHILE you’ve been busy Googling, there’s been a revolution in libraries, and it’s noisy. The State Librarian of NSW, Alex Byrne, says librarians no longer expect or want libraries to be places of quiet solitude. Rather than walking around saying ”shhh” and waving their steel rulers to enforce silence, he said contemporary librarians understand that ”using information, learning and reading are not just solitary activities”.

”We have quiet places in the library for people who want to concentrate but we don’t insist on quiet libraries. That is because we realise it is a social activity”, Dr Byrne said. In navigating the complex new world of information overload, people don’t just read books any more. They interact with information, and with each other to make sense of it.

Thanks to the public library’s role as a gateway to e-government services, a librarian today is as likely to help you apply online for a parking permit or submit a legal form digitally as find you a book. They are the ”third space, not business, not the home but a third and neutral working space”, said Dr Byrne: ”We like to think it is a mall of ideas and knowledge.”

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