Library Skills Power
Library skills are keys to information literacy. More than any other institution, libraries have been the most influential, the most impacting, the most society-reflecting of any other. In my none-too-humble opinion... and after a lifetime of observation.
Infinitely versatile, libraries have evolved from repositories of information to interactive multimedia cultural centers. Now, that's growth! That's community awareness and service and product and enablement.
Along the way, librarians have created and regularly updated the most elastic and intelligent cataloguing systems for information, storage, and retrieval -- IS&R.
Librarians are not just the keepers of information in its every form. They are also the finders of information that their patrons require. A good library service actually finds material and develops service before their general public knows what it needs.
Librarians are reformers. Lending libraries. Circulating Libraries. From private to commercial to subscription to fully public libraries. To leadership in equality of access to information.
Librarians are at the leading edge, where technology meets application for information access and dissemination. They are tuned into the public they serve 24/7 and build service and product around their collections for that public -- from subject focused bookmarks to reading lounges to Internet access. They are cooperative between branches and systems and have for centuries offered special collections and access to peers and patrons.
Libraries hold the world and its knowledge at the ready for any inquiring mind. Libraries have encouraged and nurtured every form of endeavor from art and music and dance to medicines and physics and astronautics.
Astounding achievement. Enlightened dedication.
Yet, for all this munificence, for all the centuries, library skills are relatively simple, easily taught, and learned with a little practice. These are skills as at home and useful on the Internet as they are in a rare book collection.
Information literacy for elementary school homework to postdoctoral research!
If you take the time to play with and practice these, you can pick and choose your way through Information in any form, Stored anywhere, and Retrieved with your own effort.
You can use library skills anywhere in the world. For your lifetime.
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