The Library: A Place for Loaners?

Here’s a rather twee video that briefly celebrates the library as a good place to be alone. Not exactly what we’re going for, eh?

7 thoughts on “The Library: A Place for Loaners?”

  1. And why not? That poem/song isn’t extolling the virtue of purposely cutting yourself off from all interpersonal contact. It’s about taking time for yourself when you need/want to and being comfortable with it. I think it’s great that the library is mentioned. It is a good place to go and be alone for a little while. Yes, we offer places for people to meet and free wi-fi and computers and games but we also offer space and chairs and things to read on your own. We don’t want to lose sight of the individuals we serve as we try to attract groups.

  2. Point well taken, Denise! Libraries can be different things for different people. While I often like being alone I’d hate to see libraries categorized as a place in which one needs to be alone.

  3. I don’t think that the only user experiences we should be encouraging for libraries are community ones; there is a lot of work (intellectual, personal, and otherwise) that has to take place alone. Reading, for instance, is seldom done well in raucous social groups. I’m all for the learning commons, group study, and social space in our libraries as third places, but I think alone can coexist and that we ought not banish the solitary from our traditional role as providers of productive silence. Why must spaces for one person be incompatible with spaces for many? Must we banish all quiet from the library? Why?

    I also enjoy your typo in the heading for this blog – I suspect you meant loners – but “loaners” is far more library/circulation appropriate. ;)

  4. Other people have been much more eloquent. My only comment is that much of the world is made for extroverts. The library was the only place in my youth (and now) that I didn’t find exhausting. As an introvert I don’t need your programming, your social space, your FaceSpace app crap. I need you to give me a quiet place and leave me ALONE. That is all.

  5. In your title, you pose the question of whether the library is a place for LOANers, and the answer clearly is yes. We loan out materials all the time! That’s kind of our traditional function, is it not?

    Whether or not the library is a place for LONERS is a fair question, I suppose. Certainly, I see many people alone here, but I always try to encourage their cross-mojonation whenever I can!

  6. Most of the time, I go to the library with the intent of doing things alone. Occassionally, I will have someone or be with someone to help me understand things.

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