Wednesday, 05 April 2017 15:07

Libraries not passé, still very innovative

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Are you familiar with the award-winning children's story The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Another story I heard could be called The Very Hungry Mind. 
There was a 12-year-old in Regina who spotted a rare bird. When interviewed, Nick Selinger sounded perplexed when asked how he knew it was a Eurasian Tree Sparrow.  He knew because his birding book confirmed his observations.
Like the hungry caterpillar, Nick had a hungry mind. He became interested in owls after reading a fiction book. He read all the owl books, but he was still hungry. 
He read all the raptor books, but he was still hungry.  Then he started to read all the books about birds. His local library and librarian had a central role in feeding his hungry mind.
As fields of knowledge grow, hungry minds begin to make connections that lead to innovations. While we credit a particular innovation to a particular innovator, history shows that commonly others were making the same connections and the innovation was inevitable.   
Libraries and librarians are organized to feeding hungry minds in a way the internet cannot.
The Saskatchewan government cuts to libraries risks cutting innovations. The low hanging fruits they thought they were harvesting are the seeds we need for future innovations. Visit your local library or the Action Centre to learn how you can help reverse the cuts.
Nancy Carswell, Shellbrook

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