Monday, 13 July 2009

Book That Relates to My Job

Finished July 12
Sacred Stacks: the higher purpose of libraries and librarianship by Nancy Kalikow Maxwell
This is an interesting look at academic and public libraries and the people that work there. Maxwell is an academic librarian, but has also worked in public libraries.
This book looks at the role of libraries in the community and how we deliver service. Maxwell relates libraries to having a sacred, yet secular role, and librarians as having a calling of a sort to public service.
While comparisons to religious institutions are throughout, she recognizes that the current attitude toward a more general spirituality and seeking of knowledge lends itself well to libraries. She looks at the various functions libraries play from organizing information, to archiving it for posteriety to adding to individual and societal growth. The libraries role in the community is key here, with the library being a "third place" in people's lives after home and work. Her last chapter looks at the implications and expectation this places on libraries and librarians and explores some interesting ideas.
I found this a book that made me take a harder look at my library and the role our staff play in our community and I would recommend it to other librarians.

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