This article from Angela Clarke at the Guardian is wonderful— her experiences make me proud to be a librarian, and proud of my British public library colleagues.

Still, a quote from the article that I’d like to address:

Embarrassingly, I had to ask how to use the electronic checking-out system…But the library and its team weren’t concerned by my absence. There was no judgment. I was always welcome.

Library patrons— please, please don’t ever be ashamed to ask librarians how our stuff works.  When I worked in a library, I had to be trained on how the software worked.  Nobody is born knowing how to use any kind of software or application or tech tool, and we librarians understand that.

We don’t care if you haven’t been back in a long time, or if you don’t like books and just come to check out DVDs and games, or to access the free periodical articles, or what have you.  We are happy to have you with us— after all, you’re the reason we’re here.

I’d like to second this entry. It’s ok to ask us. 

A library is not just about books: it’s also a place for the vulnerable

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