National Library Week: Librarians’ role continues to evolve in the age of digital

Local News

We’re more than halfway through National Library Week: The annual celebration highlights the role libraries along with its staff have in our communities.  Librarians’ job continues to evolve in the digital age.

“It’s not just storytimes anymore. It’s meaningful connections,” said Joanna Goodard, a librarian at the Windmill Library.

Goodard has worked in the Las Vegas Clark County Library District for 15 years and became a librarian nearly 4-years-ago.

Cristen Drummond, Reporter: “What’s the reaction you get when you tell people you’re a librarian?”
Goodard: “Most people are surprised to know that it requires a Masters.  I do think there is a stereotype. I’m happy to break it.”     

“The librarian’s role continues to evolve. It’s no longer just knowing where books go and helping patrons check out materials.”

“We’re helping people build websites,” said Shana Harrington, youth services manager in the Las Vegas Clark County Library District. “We’re helping people use 3-D printers; we’re helping kids learn how to fly drones. It’s so much more than we used to do.”

Librarians now act as a gateway to knowledge in the digital era because their higher education prepares them to not only use technology but to connect with people. 

“Knowing developmental stages and knowing what books to select — what’s right for those kids and knowing how to interact with the parents,”  Harrington said. 

Long gone are the days of telling people to be quiet. 

“We are not a shush society anymore,” Harrington said.

They also have a different way of looking up books or other materials guest in the library need.

“We still had print resources that you had to look through to find reference materials, and you couldn’t just rely on electronic resources,” Harrington said.

Libraries as well as staff adjusted over the years. Now they’re working to meet the needs of the community while encouraging reading.

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