In the intro to module one Michael mentions that “….collections grow and thrive via user and staff involvement. Librarians are tapped in to user spaces and places online to interact, have presence and point the way.”

That sentence and a half resonated with me – not just places online to interact but interacting in the library itself.

In my public library we have an ageing population. Many of them have embraced technology, many of them haven’t.

Take ‘Judith’ for example – she has an eReader (given to her by her grandchildren) she seldom uses it because she likes visiting the library to choose her books; having random conversations with staff and readers about good books, new books; browsing the returns trolleys looking to stumble across a gem; and having the interactions that she doesn’t get downloading ebooks from our website.

I sometimes need to remind staff that the library is many things to many people and not everyone wants to be dialled in to the library. Future libraries, participatory libraries need to plan for the future and innovate for the present and future.

Our way forward needs the support of current and future patrons – if we alienate one group we risk curtailing future plans.

To this end we run ‘intro to…’ technology sessions for those dipping their toes in the waters of twitter, facebook, eReaders, tablets, email etc.

My favourite ‘technology’ interaction with a library user –  I was booking a patron into an introductory internet session and she said to me:

“I’m 92 and i don’t want a computer but i suppose i should learn what this internet thing is all about”

– pure gold!

I loved her attitude and respected her right not to have a computer and for her to be able to use the library in the way that suits her best.

When my library is renovated in a couple of years I want a small social (conversation) room where people can meet and chat (and knit, crochet, read, etc), and I want makerspaces, and i want more public pcs connected to the internet, and faster wifi, and i want there to be books and magazines, & ebooks and zinio, and comfy chairs, and quiet study areas, areas for discussion groups and a cafe, and a storytime area, and, and, and and, and as much of anything that our patrons want.

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