39 ways to connect people with the libraries
LIBRARIES are community places in any society and are open to all without caste, creed, religion and age.
In educational institutions, libraries are central places that provide essential services to help people and neighbourhoods thrive.
Library offers vital resources to address community needs and is regarded as a central information-sharing hub.
After the advent of advanced technologies, libraries have undergone many hurdles, like budget cuts, lack of professional staff, administrators’ poor policies, stakeholders’ negligence and education mafias, etc.
Information Communication technologies devalued the physical presence of readers who usually come to the library to quench their knowledge thirst.
Hence, strategic changes got awareness among librarians about how to deal with clients in the era of Information Technology.
Librarians are worldwide experiencing and executing these technologies to reach the current and retrospective patrons.
The question arises whether libraries are still inhabited or uninhabited by patrons.The answer is head-shaking for librarians. However, there are numerous tactics if adopted. The desolate places, which are called libraries, will again be inhabited.
The first impression of any library is to appeal patrons when they walk in the entryway, they feel whether the library is welcoming, is it aesthetically appealing, does it guide them what they desire.
(1) A building with a sound ventilation system appeal and attracts more library users.
(2) Building of professional website can capture your patrons again into the library
(3) Various Social media applications, if adopted, can bring your users back into the library
(4) Start posting to your social media and website
(5) Make advertising and offers
(6) Add yourself to local business directories
(7) Adult discussion group on a weekly basis
(8) Arrange a business discussion for people in business inside the library
(8) Orientation system for students living in surroundings
(9) Making contacts with educational institutions to send their students in leisure time.
(10) Contact local authors to come forward and discuss your book with the audience
(11) Movie shows and other aesthetic events
(12) Create space for group discussion of learned classes
(13) arrange continuing education programs for professionals
(14) give the users freedom to use library material with care
(15) Placing of IT tools inside the library like computers, scanning, photocopier machines and printing facilities
(16) High-speed internet and Wi-Fi facilities.
(17) collaboration with other local libraries to exchange library services
(18) Inter-Library Loan facilities among regional libraries
(19) To create a community hub, libraries should make partnerships with local organizations and companies partner with local organizations and companies
(20) Organize information literacy programs regularly
(21) Partnership with non-profits organizations to fill connectivity gaps
(22) Bookmobile are more important now than ever, bookmobile services on bike delivery systems can attract more users into the library
(23) Use of social community centres like Masjid, church, public and a similar place of public gathering where people from different spheres come and share their views
(24) Conducting library survey programs from time to time
(25) Enlist yourself in local media centres to capture more public
(26) To make community members feel safe, accepted and welcomed in their spaces
(27) Update the library catalogue and share it with patrons on social media will increase the interest of readers
(28) Hosting holiday events like Eid Millan, Christmas and other festivals for local people to celebrate
(29) Arrangement of book walk program and invite students and teaching faculty members
(30) Featuring student poet through host poetry reading programme, display of student’s art work or organizing student talent shows in the library.
(31).Many libraries have events and meeting rooms inside the library that require reservation
(32) Information for reservation of the library hall should be made available on the library website
(33) Host craft classes that not only teach patrons how to make greeting cards, decorations and more
(34) Use of mobile apps for awareness programs like WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.
(35) E-Newsletter, which covers other news and fresh arrivals in the library, should be shared with patrons regularly to capture them back into the library.
(36) Users always love to read latest books in print and electronic formats, they ought to be entertained with latest stuff
(37) Libraries are places for discovering new knowledge, it can help the patrons to find rich resources that meet their minds
(38) Majority of libraries can be more appealing which offer access to free material like e-books, e-Magazines and newspapers etc.
(39) The last but not the least attitude of librarians is because librarians’ friendly and loving attitude can utilize both resources and services in the given libraries.
It is said that libraries house plenty of online resources like research databases, e-books, movies, and online articles; in addition to the digital material, there are a lot of other sources that can be utilized to attract patrons back into the library.
Libraries and librarians are committed to preserving the freedom to read, enhancing learning, and ensuring access to information. These essential tips will be helpful for librarian community in general.
—The author is a Library Officer at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.