Read On! What Libraries Can’t Do

August 1, 2022

If you caught the CBS Sunday Morning story last week about the 21st Century Library, you saw large-scale examples of many of the things libraries can do. Put very simply, libraries provide connections and access to information, opportunities to learn and create, materials for enjoyment, and more. 

We’re actively looking for ways to make those connections easier to obtain with no unnecessary barriers to access. Part of our new strategic plan (that should go through City Council soon) is dedicated to just that – looking at the requirements we have for access to our resources and making sure they’re necessary and equitable. 

Truly, if you have a problem but you can’t find the resources you need to solve it, try your local library to see what they can connect you to. If your local library can’t connect you to the resources you need, they may be able to find another library or service that can. 

As helpful as we are, there are some things libraries cannot do. We cannot tell you what to do with the resources we connect you to and we can’t tell you which path to take when you’re making an important decision. 

We can show you the laws of Pryor, Mayes County, Oklahoma, and beyond, but we can’t give you any legal advice about those laws. We can help you understand what a particular medical diagnosis means through our health resources, but we can’t give you advice about what you should do with that diagnosis. When you want to do a deep dive into American history, we’ll help you navigate, but we can’t tell you what to think about the things you learn. 

Mostly, we can’t do those things because they’re beyond our training – we’re not lawyers, doctors, etc., – but also you know yourself and your needs much better than we do. That makes you the most qualified advice-giver for your situation.