The 6 Main Steps With Libraries Could Help Fight the Pandemic
The usefulness of libraries is indisputable, especially in times of pandemic. Not everything has changed in them, but the way of offering their resources, services, and activities have. These are times of assimilation, learning, and relearning. Times in which to face a future as unknown as it is uncertain in the library field. Moments in which more than ever it is necessary to support citizens in their information, knowledge, and cultural entertainment needs through all available means and resources.
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These are difficult times, especially for the physical library. But libraries can’t just lower their arms and give up. You only have to look back to realize what they have done when the pandemic hit the world hardest. Looking to the future working in the present with ideas, projects, union, collaboration, and ambition is what they must do. And it is that libraries also help fight the pandemic. A pandemic that hits the library community, which limits technological access and content, and which calls into question the reliability of the information. Luckily for this, there is a vaccine, and it is called a library.
Now, what are the main arguments that show that libraries help fight a pandemic? Undoubtedly, there would be community support and closeness to citizens, the promotion of reading and cultural entertainment, the dissemination of information and reliable sources, media and information literacy, support for personal, educational, and educational development. research, and access to technology.
1. Libraries are a community support service and closeness to the citizen.
The closeness and support to citizens are one of the main arguments to combat the pandemic from the libraries. The library is a community, and its problems or difficulties are also yours. Libraries are capable of leading and/or supporting local initiatives, as well as coordinating and creating ties with other organizations and companies to offer public, educational and cultural services adapted to the situation. Some libraries even have spaces and have the initiative to become collection centers for different basic necessities, they also have resources for the creation of different sanitary materials using 3D printers (protective visors and breathing tubes). They are also close to their community of users, with special attention to those most vulnerable. As dependents who are offered reading through mail or telephone, or people with reading difficulties who are offered workshops and easy reading clubs.
2. Libraries encourage reading and cultural entertainment.
Something that cannot fail, or stop, in libraries is the promotion of reading and access to informative, cultural, and entertainment content. Libraries share both their own digital loan platforms (electronic books, audiobooks, press, audiovisuals …) as well as other external platforms for cultural entertainment, which are also free for citizens. In addition to recommending content, reading clubs, creating downloadable material, virtual exhibitions, and encounters with writers (both for children and adults), they also create literary challenges (haikus and micro-stories), literary dramatizations (storytelling), and contests with which to encourage and entertain citizens from a literary and cultural point of view.
3. Libraries offer and disseminate information from reliable sources.
The infodemic is a problem, but it can be disastrous if coupled with a pandemic. This is where libraries must offer their vision of informational quality to avoid both false news and hoaxes. In short, fight against fake news by offering truthful first-hand information. There are many libraries that disseminate current, truthful, reliable, and quality information through their social networks, which makes them a reliable source for both citizens and health professionals, teachers, and researchers. There are even libraries that have created sections on their web pages, and even web sites, from which they disseminate information from reliable sources. Virtual spaces used, above all, to disprove hoaxes, collect local information to report the situation, share current news of interest, and to offer studies, reports, and research to professionals.
4. Libraries work on media and information literacy.
Training in digital and informational media is presented as a basic need today. It is not only a matter of offering information and reliable sources from libraries but also teaching how people can be self-sufficient in their information needs. Libraries carry out face-to-face and online workshops on electronic resources, informational skills, information searches, detection of false news.
5. Libraries provide support for personal development, education, and research.
Although the world seems to stop, it does not stop turning. The overcoming happens to face the situation through the activity that encourages both personal development and research to find a solution. Libraries share information of interest to unemployed people, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and companies. But not only for them, but also for teaching, research, and health personnel. Libraries produce guides on the use of resources, share materials of interest, and hold workshops that can range from using bibliographic managers to creating comics, and even English and cooking workshops.
6. Libraries are enablers of technology.
Technological access is unequal on the part of society. Not a few people have access to technology thanks to libraries. That is why libraries minimize this technological gap by providing computer and technological equipment ( tablets, laptops, MiFi, e-book readers …) to people who are in a vulnerable situation, even opening their WiFi networks so that they can be used freely. But it is not only the access to said technology but also the advice that they offer to people in the use of devices and access to digital resources.
libraries help fight the pandemic-Prahub blog