funniculee is prepared
I have talked about getting my MLIS to a number of non-library people over the past 2 months, and in every single conversation, the other person has said something similar to:
“Hmmm, libraries – aren’t they basically obsolete/going away sometime very soon? (you know, with the Web and all…)”
Well, no. At least, I don’t think so. And there are a lot of reasons why not. But I find I have a hard time spitting out compelling reasons/defenses in these situations, that is, without resorting to library-speak and without expounding for 5 minutes or more.
I hate soundbites, but I can’t help wondering if there is a concise and impactful way to address this sort of comment. In the training for my VISTA*Americorps year, I remember that we had to practice “elevator speeches” – quick spiels we could use to explain what we were doing and why. It would be nice to have something like that at the ready.
So whaddaya think? How can I be a better advocate? What should I be saying? How can I explain the importance of libraries in 60 seconds or so, and in terms most people can understand/appreciate?