Who are we here for?
Who uses the library? What services are important to your users? What is the mix of generations and diversity in your community? Users of different ages and cultures have different needs and ideas about the library.
Rights of Users
It's not always easy to remember that users, those "interruptions" interfering with your "real" work, are the reason we're all here. Understanding the need for fair and equitable treatment of users and consideration of user rights and needs is essential for anyone employed in a public library. Become familiar with the Library Bill of Rights, the American Library Association Code of Ethics, and the Intellectual Freedom Statements from ALA or the Intellectual Freedom Statement from CAL.
Will you need to smile all the time and tell people to have a nice day? Will you require a complete personality transplant? Probably not! Common courtesy and a sincere desire to be of service will do it!
In today's library environment, your involvement with users may not even be face-to-face. Telephone, fax, email, Internet, chat, instant messaging, virtual reference systems, webcasts, blogs, and interaction through Colorado's library networks may connect you to users you never see around Colorado and even around the World! However you make contact, respect the rights and needs of your library users.
Some interactions with users are dictated by library policies and practices. Other interactions may be covered by Colorado law. The next page deals with law concerning confidentiality of patron records.
Check it out!
The Gates Foundation produced a report that examined at the role of public libraries in bridging the digital divide. Currently, 95% of public libraries offer free access to computers. The report also shows urgent challenges libraries face as they seek to maintain and further develop their roles in providing access to the digital world.