Towards a generosity based policy in public libraries

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Libraries in general, and public libraries in particular, are among the best places to practice and promote generosity. Generosity is a vital virtue and a core value for any sustainable society, as it nurtures personal compassion and generates social support. It acts like a social glue which brings people together and fosters social bonds between them. The time that we spend with our friends and the ideas we share with them is an act of generosity. A cheerful greeting with a client at the reference desk also has the same value. Importantly, the concept of generosity is embedded in the essence of public libraries. Because they provide free access to information for everyone regardless of their age, gender, language, ethnicity background, or level of education. Plus, they are not in a one-way relationship. People also show their generosity to public libraries in different capacities. Volunteer members dedicate their leisure time to help libraries. Friends of libraries donate books, furniture and funding are also part of this benevolence and philanthropy. In return, public libraries can be more proactive to foster these bonds. The first action is removing overdue fines or offering an alternative option to deal with this issue. However, promoting generosity is not just limited to waving overdue fines, there are other initiatives that we can undertake. By identifying and rectifying policies that potentially discourage people to visit libraries then we will be able to create a more welcoming atmosphere which will promote the culture of generosity. For example, accepting more volunteers to join our library teams is an effective idea. People living in the neighbourhood have various kinds of knowledge and skills which will be beneficial for our libraries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25
Number of pages1
JournalIncite
Volume41
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2020

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