Librarians in Trouble

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No food, No drinks and Be quiet!! basic rules in a library??

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Hi everyone!

I have been many time lost, but today I would like to comment a post in “Tame the Web” about rules in the libraries.

I reccomend you read at first the post and the comments of different people about that.

Students in a group room at the Learning Centre in the Oslo University Collegue

Students in a group room at the Learning Centre in the Oslo University Collegue

The three basic rules are the following:

1. NO FOOD allowed in the library.

2. NO DRINKS in computer stations, the circulation desk, the meeting and study rooms.

3. BE QUIET the library is a quiet study space.

At the first moment the three basic rules could seem to me properly in a library. But in a second reading… something seems to me strange. The following comment is from my point of view as a librarian, a researcher about the user´s behaviour and of course, the main important reason, as a student.

The rules are prohibitions!!! also it remarks the “old librarian point of view about what is a library”.

As other people have commented in the original post, there are too much NO.

And I´m wondering… I can understand that none would like to use this library.

I think that a helpful, useful and good library is not like this because you´re not allowing the users to spent their time there.

Why? because if you cannot drink, in the study and meeting rooms for example, you cannot be there many time!! or if you´re studying, it is normal eat or drink, and is the same if we talk about work in groups.

Something is wrong: first the student receives a negative message from his/her library about his/her behaviour. Secondly the prohibitions about drinks and eat seem to him/her that is not possible spent many time in the library. And finally, the idea about a quiet space seems that the library is not a place to meet or share with other users, friends, students…

In a library with enough resources is possible to have study rooms, or meeting rooms, so every space could have different purposes and different behaviour.

As we had recognized in our study about the student´s behaviour in a Learning Centre (LC) of the Oslo Univeristy Collegue, see here, the students like to be working in groups, so is necessary talk to do it, and they also feel comfortable if they could eat and drink normally. Another surprising fact for us as a foreigner students in Norway, from Spain and Hungary, is that the LC had been very used during our research, more than our university libraries in our countries. We saw that students like BE in the LC, with a high social behaviour that include eat, drink and talk at the same time that they work in group or study, in group also!!! Students do it normally, and the rules of the LC allows them. So I think it is the success. Please take a look in our study, specially the description of the different zones and pictures and the F zone, group rooms, where you can find a group of students working, eating and drinking!!

Of course it doesn´t means that they have to be like pigs!!! a normal person could eat or drink studying without any catastrophic consequence. So, really if we want get students, users, in our libraries I think that we need open our minds and take into account that a library must be a LIFE SPACE, and in a life space you can eat, drink or talk. And, if is necessary for the users, provide study rooms, or spaces, to be the quiet zones. A library, or Learning Centre, could have many different areas for different needs, and every space could have different behaviours and of course, different rules accordingly to the purpuse and needs.


Written by claesju

July 24, 2009 at 8:26 pm

New Post en Bibliotecarios en Apuros: Máster en Archivística Carlos III de Madrid

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Hi! Two days ago I update the page about the spanish masters to include the

“Máster en Archivística Carlos III de Madrid

wich is in spanish.

Written by claesju

May 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm

New Spanish version of Librarians in Troubles

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today I´m opening a spanish version of this blog. The idea is provide a different point of view introducing information from the spanish resources and also make avaible the english posts of “Librarians in Troubles” for more people.

I have to say that I´m sure that many times the information in the two websites are going to be different, but I wanna try to provide in both blogs the respective pages. I know that it is going to be more work but I hope is a good way to do an integration.

The links is

Bibliotecarios en Apuros

Also is possible access to the Spanishversion by the page that appear in the right-up side.

Written by claesju

March 2, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Librarians in troubles- Day2 Latina Lessons

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Google’s vision statement reads:   “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” ref. So I am wondering now, as a librarian that I am (or I suppose 🙂  it is our job…not? I can remember that it is the same idea that I have  since I started my studies in Library and Information Science. I have been thinking that is not possible do it perfectly because allways you have something to improve or something to add in a reference service, in a library or an information resource. Neverthless we have been triying to improve in all the senses, sometimes better than others. But…one point  is changing quickly!! The librarians have been bussy working with the new cataloging tools, the online cataloge, the more advanced database, new formats, new medias, etc, and suddenly all the new digital world is becoming so far away from the traditional libraries. As a very technological enemy that pretend move on the librarians to become them in a part of the past. Why do I think so? because one company like Google, is necessary remember that is not any company is one of the biggest in the world, wants to do the same that we have been doing for centuries!! Google wants to be the guardian of the knowledge. And the most important is that he has a power that the traditional libraries do not have. Google has the users.

Every time a person look for information using a google’s search is a time that he does not go to his library. Perhaps not all the times, but many of them. For example. I am sure that if you need information about a country, because you are planning travel there, you are not going  to take a look in your library to find a guide there. My town’s library has many guides but I prefer find the information in internet, using a google’s search!! So Google has the users and I am the first one. I think the libraries as institutions must change their roles.

And I have one question to answer: How the library as an institution may respond to this challenge? I think is difficult to answer it but I can say, in my point of view, that the library role must change, the same as the librarians, the library must be changed according to the new age. If the age is the digital age the library must be digital. If the users use the social network the library must use the same digital place. The library must be with the users and their necessities. Many ideas are confluencing now respecting to that point. I like the idea from the Library 2.0 where the library share their knowledge openly with the users in a social and digital environment.

Librarians we need adjustments or we are going to die!!

Written by claesju

February 3, 2009 at 2:02 pm