Libraries are not Workhouses

My academic colleagues at Robertson Library, University of PEI, have a lovely new wayfinding sign at the entrance to the library; it’s very well-designed, and will be a big help to patrons:


What strikes me as odd, though, is the library tagline used at the top of the sign: “Your place to get work done!”

Of all of the ways I would choose to describe a library, “a place to get work done” would appear very low on the list.

Your place to explore the wonders of the universe!”

Your wormhole to knowledge!”

Your collegial gateway to insights through resources!”

Your place for books, computers and coffee!”

Your place to rock your learning with secret library sauce!”

All yes. 

But “get work done”?! 

Libraries are amazing assemblages of people, tools and resources. They are not workhouses.



Oliver B's picture
Oliver B on May 7, 2015 - 16:15 Permalink

I think it's a variation on "Shhhhhhhh!"

Oliver B's picture
Oliver B on May 7, 2015 - 16:16 Permalink

It's also on-message with respect to "no food or drinks".

Oliver B's picture
Oliver B on May 7, 2015 - 18:35 Permalink

Hmmm. Still, I suppose they don't want you to disturb people who are working, so maybe this is a sort of cue and guiding principle according to which they hope you to moderate your eating, drinking and other sound-making.

Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on May 8, 2015 - 18:01 Permalink

The main customers for that particular library are the UPEI students. Believe me I got a great deal of work done there. Great libraries should be great public spaces. I'm thinking of the reading room at the New York Public Library and of the Vancouver Public Library. Great places to work on a project.

Ray's picture
Ray on May 11, 2015 - 09:20 Permalink

I am curious ... why the photos "are no longer available"?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on May 11, 2015 - 12:31 Permalink

As much as I’d like to be able to blame it on an evil conspiracy by vengeful librarians, the (temporary) absence of the photos in the post was due to my own ineptitude: I managed to accidentally delete them from Flickr. Fixed.  Thanks for pointing this out!