The 10-Minute International Librarian #84: Celebrate the Local

Libraries have a mission to put global information into the hands of people, wherever they are.

Through their own collections policies, inter-library loan and document supply, and advocacy for internet provision and open access, they help overcome barriers to information.

This is a vital mission, allowing ideas to spread, mutual understanding to build, and innovation to happen.

Yet libraries are, alongside their focus on global access to information, also about fitting into their communities, responding to their needs.

They are both international and local at the same time, with a duty both to respond to local needs, and to act as a key part of the local cultural, educational and research infrastructure.

Demonstrating this attachment to the community, to the area, can also be a great way of building engagement.

So for our 84th 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, celebrate the local!

Think about the particularities of your area and your community. Are there possibilities – in your collections, your services, your staff even – to draw on this as a source of strength?

What about the particular needs of your community that might mark them out from other places? Can you identify these and think how to respond?

What more can you do to attach yourself to the community you are in, in order to realise the potential of your library at the heart of ‘place-building’ and community cohesion?

Share your ideas in the comments below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 3.3 Empower the field at the national and regional levels

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box below!


One thought on “The 10-Minute International Librarian #84: Celebrate the Local

  1. Tania Huscroft

    We can do more to bring our patrons into conversation with our library. Knowing that our decisions about collections and holdings are a reflection of our own world-view, spending more time talking with and hearing from our patrons about what their needs are and what voices they want to hear will help us tailor a collection that is more inclusive, and in fact is both more local AND more global (because our patrons are largely international students).

    One thing we are constantly aware of is that when we build reading lists, our academics – who are often white, male, from privileged backgrounds – tend to innately prefer voices that speak to them. Our students, on the other hand, experience this as exclusion. We want to spend more time asking our students to contribute to living, breathing, building reading lists.

Comments are closed.