Kaisa Inkeroinen: can a library be too much of a living room?

My homework is quite related to one of the topics offered on the Themes for Cycling for libraries. One of the theme suggestions was the role of libraries in rural areas. Providing media, information, social contact space and meeting opportunities was mentioned on the website. As a head librarian of a small library I have often been thinking if we are that and what else we could be without losing our identity as a library.

I think it’s all about being a partner in cooperation especially in a small municipality. Our strengths are long office hours, customer service, being free of charge, system for lending etc. We should find the ways to use these things more so that we could be a fixed part of our community. Still there may be a risk to lose our identity. So my task is to solve if a library can be too much of a living room. Or is it really a risk if we borrow sport equipment or sewing machines etc. In my point of view everybody who comes in is a potential library user or becoming one. So I wouldn’t like to see it only as fishing visitors. When you come in you can accidentally borrow a book if we do things right. And this is also related to the question if only a borrowing customer is a good customer?

Kaisa Inkeroinen
Municipal library in Posio

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