Tag Archives: stereotypes

The 10-Minute International Librarian #85: Think of a library myth that you can debunk

Libraries have long been key institutions in communities.

While this means that we have strong name recognition, it’s not always the case that people know what we’re about. There are a lot of library myths out there.

Look up library stereotypes on the internet, and there’s plenty of material. Although of course, you have probably come across many of these yourself in your work.

While some myths are relatively harmless, others give a dangerous false impression of what we do.

They can influence decisions about libraries – from discouraging someone from visiting the library, to giving a politician the impression that there is little harm in voting against library funding.

It is therefore important to be able to identify and correct these impressions.

So for our 85th 10 Minute International Librarian exercise, think of a library myth that you can debunk!

What false ideas do you come across that shape the way that people think about where you work?

How are they wrong? Maybe they are outdated (many people’s last experience of libraries was from their student days or childhood, which may be a long time ago)? Maybe they ignore the diversity of libraries?

Think then about how you can show why they are wrong – either in words or in your actions – and how to do this in a way that will change someone’s mind, for example with humour, or by remaining positive.

Share your best examples of debunked library myths in the comments box below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 1.1 Show the power of libraries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

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!