Changing the name Library to reframe the issue

Continuing the discussion from Why librarians are needed more than ever in the 21st century:

One problem it seems to me is that words have meanings. Library = Building full of Books. Librarian = Person that works a Library. The meanings of those words end up framing the discussion. Ask people “Do we need more money for buildings full of books and people to manage those books?” Most people are going to say “No”

Reframing the issue with new words would help. I’m not saying I have any idea what better words are but as an example “Do we need funding for a place where people can get access to information and talk to people who will help them find the information they need?” . “Yes!”

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Sure, but you could easily define book as an eBook. So a Library becomes a container of electronic books.

I don’t think people necessarily take the word “Library” as literally as you’re implying here. When someone says “Record Shop” I don’t think they’re insisting it must be a location where they can physically buy 8-track tapes, vinyl records, cassette tapes, or even CDs.

Do you have specific examples or evidence of people insisting that Library is a less technologically flexible concept than, say, Record Shop?

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I suppose I don’t. I just have a personal belief and the dictionary


  • A building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or

  • A collection of books and periodicals held in such a building or room.

bookcase - athenaeum

If you don’t mean “Library” then don’t use the word “Library”. A Community center with free wi-fi and people to help you learn to use the internet is not a library. If that’s what you want funding for ask for that. Not for money for libraries. Do you have any proof lots of people don’t hear “funding for libraries” and think “why would anyone need money for a building of books in 2013”?

When people here “Record Shop” I believe they don’t expect a room full of computers with internet a people to help you find mp3s. They expect Records, tapes, cds and video for purchase.

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