Today I was cruising through the library, cleaning up and looking for people wanting help, when a young woman stopped me. She pointed toward one of the three Internet computers that sit outside the computer lab. There was a gaggle of teenagers peering over the shoulder of the computer user, doing a pretty good job at keeping their comments at a reasonable noise level. “Is that ok?” she asked. Her tone of voice indicated that she didn’t think so.
“Yes,” I said. “Those three computers are for people who want to work together. As long as they’re not disturbing others, it’s ok for them to be there.”
As she left, I reflected on issues like this that rise frequently. The library is a public facility, serving a community. It’s based on sharing: sharing space, materials, resources, and funds. A community is made up of all kinds of different people with different expectations, needs, and wants. How does a little library be all things to all people? Maybe a better question is, how does a little library be most things to most people?
I’d love to know what you think. How are we doing?
Tell us in the comments.