by UBC Library (people in photo are not connected to the story)
I came across a short but thought provoking news item from Canada, Public library will lend out people as ‘living books’. A library in Surrey, BC, offers the opportunity to borrow a librarian. You can check out a librarian to get help with finding information for a project for example. Not for days of course but for an hour or so. An extension of this would be to discuss how to gather business intelligence for your company, how to study online etc. The key resource is expertise in how to find and exploit the resources of the web.
Numerous such “living books” have reportedly already volunteered and will be available for chats over coffee in the library’s new cafe. “What we’re aiming to do is bring the library to life for people,” explains deputy chief librarian Melanie Houlden. “There are huge repositories of experience and knowledge in their own brains.”
The opportunity for all libraries is clear. Content is everywhere but human beings can give context and support. The library of the future depends on the expertise of the staff and not on the mileage of bookshelves. Even the smallest library in terms of space can provide invaluable support to its users.