ASSOCIATES (2011, March, v. 17, no. 3)


Be It Ever So Humble…

Sue Knoche
Medical Library Assistant
ETSU Quillen College of Medicine Library, Johnson City, TN

One of the fast food restaurant marquees this morning read “Knowledge is Power”. Three mere words make up this phrase that we have heard many times, but have you thought about the concept lately? Are we being reminded that there is a need to continue learning or discovering new words, locations or energizing our creative side of life every day? Perhaps we take it for granted. Have you ever thought about how many questions you ask per day? Are you asking enough questions? Do you answer questions daily for others? Did you ask someone today what they thought the weather outlook would be for the day to start a conversation? Have you downloaded one of the many sites or have a calendar of famous quotes, sayings or word of the day that you look at each time you logon to an electronic device? Is it time for lunch? Can we do this, what do you think? On occasion you may have also answered a question with another question, which can lead to detailed conversations that eventually may result in discovering that you just may have learned something new which you didn’t know last week.

I was asked the philosophical question, “Do you think libraries will be obsolete soon with everything on the internet?” Now there is a question that could strike fear into the heart of many library workers around the world. My reaction was that things are continually changing and with many misconceptions reported on the internet daily, it may require assistance from trained professionals to sort out fact from fiction. Sounding confident in my response I continued, “Some libraries are also taking on a different image of becoming more of a community gathering place where students can study in groups or tutor each other making the learning process easier and possibly more effective. The public also may use the facilities as a central meeting place or take advantage of the many other services the library provides, including the classic reason of just getting lost in the reader’s world of imagination. I think libraries will be around for a long time. Keeping up with technology, of course, is essential; but libraries are much more than that as they sponsor special programs, encourage lifelong learning, and promote exploring the past to discover what may be in our future. I believe these are services the world may never be ready to discard.”

Perhaps if we all look at learning as a glass that is only half full of knowledge, continually needing to be filled; we will be increasingly aware that ours is a lifelong task and one that we may never fully complete. Just think of the impact we can all have. Even in the smallest measurement, our contribution may be memorable enough that someone will see us in a totally different perspective.