I just came back from a trip to New York in January. I spent the holidays at my mother’s house on the East End of Long Island. My mother recently turned 85 years-old, and is probably one of the most voracious readers I have ever seen. All the librarians in her local library know her, and when I went to return some of her books they all made a point of asking how she was doing. They really love my mom and the reason is because my mom is the epitome of the “Library Lover.”
The term “Library Lover” can be defined thusly:
Library Lovers have strikingly positive views of public libraries compared with other groups, and with the U.S. population as a whole; they use libraries and library websites more than any other group, and believe libraries are essential at the personal as well as the community level.1
I was very much surprised to see that my mother does not really fit the demographic for someone who could be described as a library lover. People who have more time to use in various pursuits would appear to be the perfect library patrons. Since my mother is retired and has always been an avid reader, trips over to the library (that is about 150 yards from her backdoor) just makes sense. My mother does not just take out one or two books; she comes home with a bag full of books. She comes home with so many books that sometimes when the books are late going back the librarians will not charge her the penalty because she is such a great patron and library lover.
I, on the other hand, am the perfect example of an “Information Omnivore.” The definition of an information omnivore was enunciated in the article listed above in the following terms:
(These definitions are directly from the PEW Research on Libraries)
Information Omnivores are more likely to seek and use information than other groups, are more likely to have and use technology; at the same time, they are strong users of public libraries, and think libraries have a vital role in their communities. However, they are not quite as active in their library use as Library Lovers, or nearly as likely to say the loss of the local library would have a major impact on them and their family.2
I have to admit that sometimes in my haste to get information and reference materials I sometimes think only of an Amazon or a Barnes & Noble before the thought comes into my head that I can actually read the material for free from my local Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library here in Broomfield, Colorado. Why I never think of the public library first, I don’t know. My thought patterns are changing though and more and more I have found myself at the library within the last few months. When my Chamber of Commerce Leads Group started a reading club with Jeff Olson’s: The Slight Edge as the first title to be read, I immediately went online to access the library’s catalog to see if this book was available for sign-out. The library did not own a copy of the book, but when I went to check on it they actually put it on a list to be purchased. About two and half weeks later I had the book in hand to read.
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Public Library, a Public Bargain
Since everyone is watching pennies these days, you really cannot beat the ability to borrow a library book and have it for two weeks with the possibility of another two weeks without paying anything for it. Go to your public library and see what special events they have to offer. Take out a book, DVD movie or e-book and start to become an information omnivore or a library lover as well. The more knowledge you have the better off you will be.
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***All of this information was contained in the article: Library Lovers and Information Omnivores: Meet the Most Avid Library Patrons directly from the dbw website (Digital Book World)