I love The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series. One of my favourite parts is where the Golgafrinchans decided they would be much better off if they sent the middle ‘useless third’ of their population into the outer regions of space. They sent their hairdressers, cleaners, and marketing consultants who later crash land on prehistoric earth and found the Human Race. Meanwhile, their ‘superiors’ back at home on Golgafrincham are wiped out by a virus contracted from a dirty telephone.
Librarians often get the feeling that many people think they belong to the ‘useless third’ of society. We sometimes hear the argument “we don’t need librarians anymore, ‘cos we’ve got Google and what our friends ‘reckon’ on Facebook. Right? Right”!?
It’s time for you to watch this video. It’s 9 minutes long but stay with me people! It may very well change how you seek out answers to problems. Like how to clean a telephone handset.
It’s not just the Internet. Everything is filtered. It’s the first skill we acquire and explains why babies cry so much! They have to filter out the unfamiliar sensation of the itchy clothes we swaddle them in as soon as they are born. We go on like this for the rest of our lives. Our brains are constantly filtering what we pay attention to, and what we ignore – and we mostly don’t notice it’s even happening.
Are you confident that when you Google, listen to the news, or ‘phone a friend’ that you’re getting all the results you need? Your local library provides access to a plethora of information – stuff you might have missed through everyday accidental filtering. Librarians can help you navigate these sources to find answers to problems and contexts to wonderings.
Your library is a portal to a world of information beyond the your filter bubble.