Academic, school, public, special, and other types of libraries all aim to provide equal access to a wide range of diverse community members. There is a growing range of services some offering legal advice, research assistance, copyright advice, technology help, sustainability workshops, training and business spaces and an increasingly wider variety of physical and digital items. In public libraries there is a debate on whether they should be taking on social work roles. Are libraries doing enough? Are they doing too much? Can libraries be all things to all people and should they be?
- How Denver Public Library Balances Books and Being a Homeless Shelter
- 10 Ways academic libraries are leading change
- Academic libraries serving refugees and asylum seekers
- Librarian or Social Worker: Time to Look at the Blurring Line?
- Your Local Library May Have A New Offering In Stock: A Resident Social Worker (NPR)
- Vocational Awe (see the definition of ‘job creep’)
- Other Duties As Assigned
- Library and Information Services: The Future of the Profession , Themes and Scenarios 2025 Page 12 onwards of this report from 2013
Questions for the chat:
- Does your library have a mission statement? How does your mission statement help identify your scope of service and target audience?
- What interesting services outside of traditional roles can you think of that are offered by libraries now?
- Job creep is defined as undertaking a slowly increasing amount of work without supervisor acknowledgement. Have you experienced this? How can we combat it?
- How do you think trying to be all things to all people affects librarians? How can librarians balance good self-care against library user expectations?
- Does offering “more” equate to broader use of libraries? If so, where do we draw the line?
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