School or church?

While at Target doing some last-minute-of-the-fiscal-year shopping, I whipped out my public library’s tax exempt letter. The poor cashier was puzzled. “What is this for? Is it a school, or a church?” she wondered.

It really brought home to me that as busy as the library may feel, many of our patrons have no idea that they ARE our patrons. Perhaps where they came from there were no libraries, or they have never had time to even consider the possibility of going to a library. It made me wonder if, when they receive a welcome letter from the library in their packet of information from the village, it makes no sense to them because they have no frame of reference for it. What’s the best way to tell them that the public library exists, that it is for them, and what it has to offer?

It does help justify the staff time and energy that school visits take. But maybe we need to be sure that when we come to a classroom and talk about whatever we are promoting at the library, those of us in diverse communities–maybe everyone, these days–need to begin all the way at the beginning. The public library is a place where…

Official disclaimer: Spending money at Target doing end-of-the-fiscal-year shopping is poor management of resources and should be avoided!

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