Shifting Perception: Why Essentialness is Not the Problem

2min read

By Corinne Hill

The fact that the topic of “the essentialness of libraries” is trending right now reveals a completely different issue that has nothing to do with the library being essential.

What this trending topic and ensuing discussions reveal about our profession is that we’re totally insecure. We are frantic in our zeal to be everything to everyone, and we’re so busy and distracted with the gathering of evidence to defend our existence that we forget who we are.

We lament the loss of funding but can’t seem to make the difficult decisions of what to do with the money we do have. We bemoan that no one understands us, no one realizes all of the great things that we do. This says way more about us than it says about them. We are telling the world that this is all about us. And it makes explicit that we really don’t understand our communities.

Chattanooga Teen Space





这is the real work of what makes us essential. The ground level work.






这article was published inIMPACT杂志. See what more top library leaders think about shifting the perception of public libraries:



Corinne was awarded 2014Library JournalLibrarian of the Year and named as anLJMover & Shaker in 2004. She is the Executive Director of Chattanooga Public Library, which known for it’s innovative community-focused4th floor.