I want to open a public library in a public restroom

For real, I ain’t screwing around.  We shouldn’t be confined to our buildings.  If public libraries are all about community, THEN WHY THE HELL ARE WE NOT OUT IN THEM? (roar!)

I dig @librarythingtim for his ideas and honesty.  His post “Five Models for libraries outside libraries” has got me thinking.  The public library has nothing to do with the actual building itself.  It is all about the community (I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it until that’s the focus).  I ask myself time and time again…”Are we properly serving our public by just having a building full of books and other materials?”  NO NO NO NO NO NO!  We have to leave our desks and get out there into our community.

That’s my new clichéd slogan for this campaign.  A building, new or old, shiny or dull, isn’t gonna make people come to the library.  I love people and I have so much faith in the human race, but all in all, people are lazy.  Case in point?  Signs.  I spent so much of my professional time making signs for my programs, signs for materials, signs for everything.  Cue that stupid Five Man Electrical Band song if you’d like.  Do people read them?  Not really at all.  They’re just junk collected on a wall.  Instead, I found it much better if I put those signs and flyers in the hands of the people I was trying to attract.

In much the same way, the public library needs to be on the street.  We should be handing materials out to our patrons.  We should be putting them in the coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores that our patrons are visiting. We should be putting our materials in public restrooms, a place where EVERYONE visits (unless you are some kind of robot.  In that case…) in order to get the word out about what we can do for our community.

Ideas?  Read @librarythingtim‘s post over here and also check out the comments.  Lots of good stuff.  In the meantime, let’s brainstorm.  How can we convince our administration that the public library should be everywhere?

Image courtesy of Svadilfari on Flickr


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