Saturday, January 31, 2009

Books beating Borders and Blockbuster?

As the credit crunch continues, many innovative libraries are now providing careers advice and online information services in addition to traditional book lending.

“There’s a whole lot of stuff in the newspapers and on the internet at the moment about how libraries are being revitalised as the credit crunch is hitting and people are not buying books any more.”

Area manager for Bournemouth Libraries at The Triangle, Gerardine Bodey says they’re well prepared to offer everything from job and training advice along with partners Next Steps, to internet access when applying for a new job.

The traditional role of the librarian has expanded with many now holding an NVQ in Information, Advice and Guidance. This means they can give people assistance in searching for a new job as well as some general tips on applying.

The expansion in services offered by Bournemouth Libraries includes the successful Enquire partnership with other public libraries. Users can join an online chat with a librarian to look for information or answers to questions. The service has been so successful that Enquire has partnered with 'Yahoo! Answers' to offer information to even more users.

Gerardine Bodey is pleased with the response so far: “77% of people say that the Enquire service run by all the public librarians had the best answer to their questions. So it shows that not only do libraries have the information, but it’s quality information too. Usually, we’re pointing them to a website or a piece of information that they can rely on.”

AUDIO: Gerardine Bodey, Area Manager for Bournemouth Libraries talks about why you should explore your local library.


Bournemouth Libraries
Next Steps Employment Service
Enquire – Ask a Librarian
Yahoo! Answers UK

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