My assumptions and beliefs have changed in that they have become stronger. When I wrote my initial post, I was thinking about my Uncle Dan – my mom’s youngest brother – and how important the library was to him. He lost his job three years ago and had been really struggling. He worked as a highly skilled laborer but didn’t have a college degree. He always used the library – to get books, or movies or to use the internet, and once he bought a computer, to learn how to use it – but when he was laid off, he went to the library more frequently. He’d always been a loner and didn’t have a lot of close friends, but when he was employed he had human interaction every day. Once he lost his job, however, much of that human interaction ceased. He started going to the library more frequently – he now had a lot more free time to read, watch movies, etc. As his savings dwindled and he couldn’t afford the internet anymore, he went to the library to use the internet and to apply for jobs. He passed away unexpectedly in the middle of this semester. Now that I go back and read my post, particularly the underlined sections below, I see how my Uncle Dan’s experience with the library influenced my beliefs. And now that he’s gone, I think that the well-being of the community is something that can’t be overestimated. The library is a place where all of us, young, old, employed, unemployed, alone or not, can go to be with others, to educated ourselves and to escape.
My strongest belief, the one that is my driving force, is that libraries are necessary to the well-being of a community. Libraries are places where children can be exposed to a wealth of new ideas and knowledge, where adults can broaden their horizons and where anyone can escape for a while. Even if you just pop into the library to pick something up from the hold shelf, as I often do (I don’t spend Saturdays wandering the stacks to see what piques my interest anymore, unfortunately), you’re still getting something – a book, a dvd – that will allow you to escape.
My classmates have influenced by beliefs by bringing up so many points of view that I hadn’t considered in depth and by engaging in discussions about LIS issues. The group blog project was particularly helpful, especially the blog about Patron Driven Acquisitions. I hadn’t fully considered all the implications of PDA and that blog helped me do so.