A young woman visited the Reference Desk a few weeks ago. She was distressed because she had to write a paper for Graduate School. The young woman had been out of school a few years and did not know where to start. The paper required articles from reputable online journals. I explained to the young woman there was an online resource called DISCUS (Digital Information for South Carolina Users) available where she could possibly locate these articles. After a few minutes of showing her the various databases and how to search for these articles, the student felt much better on beginning her paper. Knowing how to find and use information in a helpful manner gave this student a new start.
They say knowledge is power. The student gained a new set of tools to improve her studies and, consequently, her life, by learning technologies that will allow her a greater understanding of knowledge. As a Reference Librarian, I find it fascinating and encouraging that public libraries provide the basic tools, knowledge and skills to advance in education, careers and in life. I find it thrilling to help a patron with a puzzling genealogy question or teach a beginning Microsoft Excel user how to create spreadsheets. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to help improve lives.
Libraries change lives. Individuals and communities thrive when libraries are there to assist those who need answers to questions other places simply cannot provide. The library is a free resource to those in the community who could not afford a test preparation guide, history books or internet access. In 2012, the Sumter County Library continues to offer free computer classes, a financial improvement program, author fair, a King James Bible festival, English as a Second Language classes, children’s programming and much more. Consider joining the Friends of the Sumter County Library to help support our mission:
The Sumter County Library is dedicated to the promotion of life-long learning. We believe that citizens of every age are important patrons of the Library. Through its Downtown library, community branches, and bookmobile, all residents shall be afforded access to authoritative information to meet their personal, educational, and professional needs.
Winniford A. Simmons III
Reference and Information Services Coordinator