Why you should and how you can help your library help itself

Lots of interesting materials come across my desk. Usually it’s miscellaneous Vermontiana or university publications, but today I cataloged a thin booklet produced by the Vermont Free Public Library Service from 1967! It’s called “Why you should and how you can help your library help itself.” This little resource outlines the primary functions of a library and ways librarians can improve their library! It’s amazing how little things have changed from our core mission:

“Besides providing a collection of books tailored specifically to the needs of the community or area it serves, a good library, even a small one, does much more.”–P. [2].

As technology becomes more and more a part of our lives and the library, it’s important to remember that while information carriers change, the purpose of the library does not.

The function of the public library is to assemble, organize, preserve, and make easily and freely available to all people the printed and non-printed materials that will assist them to:

  • Educate themselves continuously
  • Keep pace with progress in all fields of knowledge
  • Become better members of home and community
  • Discharge political and social obligations
  • Be more capable in their daily occupations
  • Develop their creative and spiritual capacities
  • Appreciate and enjoy works of art and literature
  • Use leisure time to promote personal and social well-being
  • Contribute to the grow of knowledge

It’s easy for a librarian to forget this. We’re so often busy negotiating licenses, learning new cataloging rules, planning programs, or simply trying to keep the doors open. So to remind us all of our core values with some simple suggestions, here is a link to the PDF: helpyourlibraryhelpitself


One Response to Why you should and how you can help your library help itself

  1. Mary Danko

    Great post Amber! I love the line, “Develop their creative and spiritual capacities.”