Libraries come down to two key concepts: learning and fun (in the context of information). We’ve known this for years. An example is our collection of both scholarly works and more leisurely reading.
These two concepts are the reason why we collect content in varied forms. They are the reasons we host events for our users. They are the reason we provide access to the web. They’re the reason why there are librarians working at the library. Libraries are all about learning and fun.
We have books and ebooks so people can gain new ideas or enjoy a tale of adventure or suspense. We have videos and games so users can be entertained or educated. Events hosted by the library allow people to have fun as a community or arouse their curiosity together. People go to the library so they can interact with other folks who are learning and having fun, or they’re going to find a quiet place to learn or have fun by themselves. Use of the internet allows users to access a vast array of resources that can contribute to both fun and learning.
Moreover, fun and learning must not be too out of balance. If we became places that only had first person shooter games and romance novels, we’d quickly become obsolete. Humans need intellectual fulfillment. Conversely if we only have scholarly tomes and documentaries, users will quickly become bored.
Libraries improve people’s lives through free access to information that contributes to their fun and learning. Keeping these two concepts in mind when delivering or improving services is key. “Did I help this patron learn or have fun?” “How does this new initiative contribute to patron fun or learning?”