By Tina Thomas
Libraries have been at a crossroads of existence since I joined the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) five years ago – likely well before that and probably for many more years to come. In his article outlining that “being essential” is not enough to sustain libraries, Rick Anderson highlights that an important thing libraries must do is provide value and a return on investment.
We know that if you ask 1000 people if they believe libraries are important the vast majority will say yes. But we also know that those same people may not know what the modern library does or even use the library themselves.
The challenge is libraries are often valued as an institution or idea, not for the services they provide. And, to Rick’s point, if the lofty idea of “essential” is all libraries have, we likely will be challenged to find support for the work we do in a sea of essential services.