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Think Outside the Book

March 26, 2012

When people ask me “What do you do” and I answer that I am a librarian, I invariably get one of two reactions.

“Wow! Really! My favourite book is…..”


“I don’t read”.

Now, my reaction to the first one is usually a short discussion about favourite reads and favourite authors but it is the second comment that I love. It is the “I don’t read” reaction that sparks me. For I love to challenge these readers who don’t perceive themselves as readers.

For when I start questioning them, they constantly read. They read their Facebook pages, they read emails, they read recipes, they read a great film, they read while they drive, they read to take part in gaming, they read their car mags and technology mags and fashion mags and celebrity gossip mags. They read through blog sites, instruction manuals, policy statements, household bills, phone texts and Sunday comics. And as I point out these varied reading activities that these self-proclaimed “non-readers” have taken part in, I see a glint in their eye which let’s me know that this person will from now on consider reading as being outside of a book. And it is at this point that I let them know that the library is just the place to access the variety of reading that they are already taking part in.

Library and Information Week is approaching. This year’s theme is “Think Outside the Book” for the library is a great supporter of this concept. For at the library, regardless of whether it is a public library, academic library or a business library, it is information and leisure reading that is on offer regardless of format. For libraries have something for everyone when we think outside of the book.


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