36 Ways to connect people with the libraries 

Librarians have a key role to play

Libraries are community places in any society and are open to all without discrimination of caste, creed, religion, or age. In educational institutions, libraries are central places that provide essential services to help people and neighbourhoods thrive. Library offers vital resources to address community needs and is regarded as a central information-sharing hub.

After the advent of advanced technologies, libraries have undergone many hurdles, like budget cuts, lack of professional staff, administrators’ poor policies, stakeholders’ negligence and education mafias, among others.

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Information Communication technologies devalued the physical presence of readers who usually came to the library to quench their thirst for knowledge. Hence, strategic changes prompted awareness among librarians about how to deal with clients in the era of Information Technology. Librarians are worldwide experiencing and executing these technologies to reach the current and retrospective patrons. The question arises whether libraries are still inhabited or uninhabited by patrons.

The answer is puzzling for librarians. However, there are numerous tactics which, if adopted, will ensure that the desolate places,  which are called libraries, will again be inhabited. (1) A building with a sound ventilation system in summer and winter attracts more library users.  (2) Building of professional website can bring your patrons again into the library (3) Various social media applications, if adopted, can bring your users back into the library (4) start posting to  your social media and website (5) Make advertising and offers (6) Add yourself to local business directories (7) Adult discussion group on a weekly basis (8) arrange a business discussion for people in business inside the library (8) Orientation system for students living in surroundings (9) Making contacts with educational institutions to send their students in leisure time

It is said that libraries house plenty of online resources like research databases, ebooks, movies, and online articles; in addition to the digital material, there are a lot of other sources that can be utilized to attract patrons back into the library. Libraries and librarians are committed to preserving the freedom to read, enhancing learning, and ensuring access to information. These are some essential tips that help attract clients back into the library

(10) Contact local authors to come forward and discuss your book with the audience (11) Movie shows and other aesthetic events (12) Create space for group discussion of learned classes (13) Arrange continuing education programmes for professionals (14) Give the users freedom to use library material with care (15) placing of IT tools inside the library like Computers, scanning, photocopier machines and printing facilities (16) High-speed internet and Wi-Fi facilities.

(17) collaboration with other local libraries to exchange library services (18) Inter-Library Loan facilities among regional libraries (19) To create a community hub, libraries should make partnerships with local organizations and companies Partner with local organizations and companies (20) Organize information literacy programmes regularly (21) Partnership with non-profit organizations to fill connectivity gaps (22) Bookmobiles are more important now than ever, bookmobile services on bike delivery systems can attract more users into the library (23) Use of social community centres like masjid, church, public and similar places of public gathering where people from different spheres come and share their views (24) Conducting library survey programs from time to time

(25) Enlist yourself in local media centres to capture more public (26) Make community members feel safe, accepted, and welcomed in their spaces (27) update the library catalogue and share it with patrons on  social media, this will increase the interest of readers (28) Hosting holiday events like Eid Milan, Christmas and other festivals for local people to celebrate (29) Arrangement of Book Walk programmes and inviting students and teaching faculty members (30) Featuring student poets through hosting poetry reading programme, display of students’ art work or organizing student talent shows in the library

 

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(31). Many libraries have events and meeting rooms inside the library that require reservation (32) Information for reservation of the library hall should be made available on the library website (33) Host craft classes that not only teach patrons how to make greeting cards, decorations, and more  (34) Use of mobile apps for awareness programs like WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.

(35) E-Newsletter, which covers other news and fresh arrivals in the library, should be shared with patrons regularly to bring them back into the library.  (36) The last but not the least attitude of librarians is because librarians’ friendly and loving attitude can utilize both resources and services in the given libraries.

It is said that libraries house plenty of online resources like research databases, ebooks, movies, and online articles; in addition to the digital material, there are a lot of other sources that can be utilized to attract patrons back into the library. Libraries and librarians are committed to preserving the freedom to read, enhancing learning, and ensuring access to information. These are some essential tips that help attract clients back into the library.

Abid Hussain
The writer is a library officer at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. He can be reached at [email protected]

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