Fostering Knowledge and Discovery

Primary author: Jerianne Davis

Open up an entirely new world to someone!

What is in the tool?

The following is designed to help you assess first your community and then your library work towards fostering lifelong discovery and knowledge. Our hope is that after using this tool, you as the library director will realize how amazing you are doing at fostering growth within the community, and what areas you need a bit of help and direction on.

The research has shown that many patrons feel that one of the major contributions the local library makes in their lives is allowing them to discover new things. We love to learn the preferences of individual patrons, but we also find ways of pushing people along in learning new ideas, skills and ways of thinking. 

Libraries do two important things to build discovery: we bring in new ideas from the outside, and we tap into the expertise that already exists in our local residents. For isolated communities, it can be important to facilitate discussion on hot topics and to familiarize young people with ideas they will encounter when they move away for college or work. Successful libraries increase access to the discovery of new ideas, knowledge, and skills without advocating from a specific political viewpoint.

LISTEN: “People that aren’t necessarily avid readers; the people in this area are very interesting, they are innovative and dream up crazy things they decide they want to do.” –Betty, interview 1-1-02

Further Resources

Want to learn more about creating entry points for building knowledge and connection? Read Creating Community-Building Events and Pathways to Belonging: Delight.