Librarian Leena Riikonen shelving books.
The main library is preparing for big changes.

About continuous change

28.4.2020 13:40
Only change is permanent.

My part of the Multiliteracy with Sanataiteella project run by the Lahti City Library will be on hiatus, I will continue in the project in the fall. This has been agreed, but of course nothing is certain in this world situation. In March, the pandemic changed my entire Sanarkist – from words to actions project, as it changed everything else.  

Change is the new normal, everyone has to adapt to it. I transferred my book recommendations to YouTube, continued writing my blog and tried to increase my visibility on social media in other ways. My blog has been read comfortably and my videos have been watched a surprising amount. Twitter didn't turn out to be a suitable social media for me, only a select few were interested in my messages there. I don't adapt to the hecticness of Twitter, not to its black and white, not to its aggressiveness, not to its compulsive need for confrontation.

For librarians, change has always been constant, we are used to it. Libraries have always been pioneers, for example in the introduction of new technology and partial independence. A prime example of the library being at the forefront was the arrival of the Internet in the 1990s. Our resilience to change is tough. Or at least it should be, because the library is a guinea pig for change.

The libraries have now been closed for almost two months. During that time, I've learned, among other things, that we librarians don't always know or understand that our customers don't know the same things about the library as we who work in the library do. Customers don't know that a large part of the library's work is invisible to them and can only be done when we are not in daily customer service. A library is not just a place with lots of books and where you can pay bills. Many people working in a library the size of the Imatra city library could spend all their working time on collection work alone. The library is not just a place that preserves, maintains and preserves, not just a mail order company focusing on storing hundreds of meters of shelves, moving books and logistics. We do active collection work every day. Maintaining the material with its acquisitions, content description, citation preparation, transfers and deletions requires constant work. Encouraging children and young people to read as well: book recommendations, story lessons and many other different activities do not arise by themselves, without effort and effort. They require planning, construction and raw sitting work. Adults must not be forgotten, nor seniors. A library cannot be like a telephone company that is only interested in new customers. The library must also take care of its existing customers.

The library must live in time. Because of that, the facilities change, the collections change, the modes of operation change. Nothing happens by itself, by magic or by snapping fingers. The library is for customers, and in order to guarantee our customers a good and professionally maintained library environment, we do a lot of invisible work. Without it, there are no libraries.

Thank you to everyone who read these blog entries and to everyone who watched the book tip videos! Take care of yourself and each other, as well as your multi-literacy skills. Let's be human.

Book tip videos can be found here:
Sanarkist's video tips

mika. kahkonenatimatra.fi (mika[dot]kahkonen[at]imatra[dot]fi)
Tel: 020 617 6602