Libraries in Argentina

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I’ve had the opportunity to visit four different libraries in Santa Rosa, Trenque Lauquen, Bolivar, and Tandil, Argentina. I learned a lot about how these libraries function. The most salient idea that I gleaned from all these visits was related to the need for libraries to be cultural centers. In times of economic crisis and budget cuts, libraries cannot simply act as repositories for paper materials. These three libraries in Argentina promote events to bring the community together, whether for hosting folkloric dancing, chess tournaments, and meetings of celebration and skill sharing. This concept of being a community centerpiece is equally applicable for U.S. libraries. These libraries must be used as a nexus in the circle of connectivity. Libraries still house paper books and they’re going to continue doing that for quite a while longer even as we transition to ebooks. However, libraries also offer a tremendous resource through research librarians who have exemplary resources to search for and find quality information. Libraries should have open doors for anyone seeking information and should only be the first stop as the patrons use the help from research librarians and continue to explore on their own, whether through Internet, books, magazines, newspapers, etc.

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