The library: A distinct local voice?


  • Charles Lyons



Librarians collaborating with their patrons and using technology to tap deeper into the reservoirs of local knowledge within their communities? Creating and becoming active participants in locally-focused online communities, blogs and wikis? Leveraging local search engines and creating their own customized locally-focused search engines? Libraries mapping information relevant to their communities? The librarian as local expert specializing in the hyper-local content not captured elsewhere? It may not be the norm, but it’s already happening. This paper examines the library’s place as a local information provider — highlighting local activities that libraries are currently involved in and suggesting some ways that libraries can become better recognized as places to turn for local information. The convergence of a few factors make this topic timely: Libraries are well-positioned as community-focused institutions that have a history of helping preserve, organize and promote access to local information. The importance of and demand for local information seems to be growing. The Internet is becoming more “place-conscious,” enabling improved ways for disseminating and accessing local information.




How to Cite

Lyons, C. (2007). The library: A distinct local voice?. First Monday, 12(3).