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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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なぜ図書館利用者をpatronと呼ぶのか

 
TOEICでは図書館は頻出トピックなので図書館利用者をlibrary patronと呼ぶことは結構知られていると思います。といっても単語集などでしっかりと触れてくれているのは鉄板シーン攻略のボキャブラリーぐらいです。

公式問題集全般でlibrary patron(図書館利用者)は登場していますが、公式実践では以下のポイントも日本と違うので抑えておきたいです。

Library patrons who fail to return an item by the due date will be charged a fee.
(図書館利用者が期日までに借りたものを返せない場合には料金が課されます)

アメリカではcheck outで貸し出ししたモノを延滞した場合には延滞料を取るんですね(汗)ロサンゼルスやシアトルでもそのような規則が書いてありました。

Library Fines and Fees
The New York Public Library assesses a fine to the record of any borrower who fails to return library materials on or before their due date. Accumulated fines will result in the suspension of borrowing privileges.

横道にそれましたが、library patronについてでした。まあ下の記事をみてもらうとわかるようにlibrary patrons= library-card holders= anyone with a Seattle Public Library card「図書館利用カードがある利用者のこと」と理解してよさそうです。

Seattle library patrons can check out Wi-Fi hotspot devices
Originally published May 18, 2015 at 8:03 pm

The Seattle Public Library now lends Wi-Fi hotspot devices to library-card holders.

As of Monday, anyone with a Seattle Public Library card could check out a Wi-Fi hotspot device to use on the go or at home.

The initial 150 devices were funded with a $225,000 grant from Google and Google.org to the Seattle Public Library, according to a library news release.


patronを辞書で引くと「後援者」とか「常連客」という語義だけで「図書館の利用者」を例として載せてくれるものは見当たらないので、この使い方に違和感を感じでしまいます。同じように感じている人がいました。図書館員はpatronという言葉を使い、customerとかuserとかは使っていないということを図書館で働き始めた時奇妙に思ったというのです。

What Do Libraries Call Users, and What Do Library Users Think of Themselves in relation to Libraries?
Mar 28th, 2012 by Bohyun (Library Hat).

Throughout my entire library career since early 2000s, the term that refers to library users which I heard most from the library staff was “patron.” I don’t recall any library staff calling a library user “customer” or even “user” back then. As a very new part-time library assistant, I took it that this term “patron” meant pretty much “customer” in the sense that it is the customer (=patron in the library) that is the king.
At that time, I found the term “patron” odd and was curious about the fact that libraries were so patron-oriented. As a total library novice, I found the term ‘patron’ antiquated. (Could be just me, I admit.) Secondly, I just had no idea that libraries I frequented had such a patron-oriented culture even though I was a good library user/grad student. I was greatly impressed and amazed at how seriously the library staff take each and every small comment they receive from their “patrons.”
Now of course, I no longer feel the same curiosity about the term ‘patron,’ as I was brainwashed through my formal LIS education. (Kidding, kidding… ) But I still feel odd calling a library user “library patron.” When I hear the term “patron,” I automatically think of patrons of the arts and culture, like the Medici who were the patrons of Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Now, certainly library users don’t consider themselves as playing the role of that kind of “patron.” Do they? If patronage means just some support, probably a term for this type of patronage that library users can better relate to would be rather “friends of the library.”


どうしてpatronという言葉を使うのかを説明してくれているサイトがありました。has fully adopted the term patron in an effort to demonstrate the priority of serving our publicと語っています。

Customers or Patrons? How You Look at Your Library’s Users Affects Customer Service
by Karen Pundsack on March 2, 2015

Like NYPL, Cuyahoga, Seattle, and Multnomah, the library system I work for, Great River Regional Library (MN), has fully adopted the term patron in an effort to demonstrate the priority of serving our public. Many of our job titles include the term. By incorporating the term patron into our policies, they also reflect this priority. We avoid the term customer in order to differentiate our services from the business world. By using library terminology, we can better demonstrate our unique value as a public service.
The term patron is library jargon, but is precise. Traditional library lingo has a place—it helps us describe the value of library as “library.” If, as public libraries, we do not embrace our own identity, who will? As shown in its dictionary definition, the term patron is associated with support of an organization and those who use libraries. What better way to describe those who come through our doors?
The benefit of using the term patron is that it a broad term and can describe various aspects of library use, from circulation to reading the newspaper to connecting to our wireless network. Based on the definition, a person could even be considered a patron without setting foot in the door if they are a library supporter. The term allows for broad generalities while being specific to library services.


この記事ではcustomer, user, memberなどの語も検討しながら、公共サービスという観点からpatronという言葉がぴったりだと結論づけています。

The terms we use to describe our strongest supporters, the people who use our services, are consequential to communicating their relationship with us. Without the people who walk through our doors and access our services, public libraries would be irrelevant. The public is essential to libraries just as libraries are essential to the public.
Using the term patron helps to demonstrate that their role in our libraries is unique, unduplicated, and invaluable. We should thoughtfully consider what we are communicating when using terms like customer, student, or user. While these terms have come into vogue, the term patron continues to resonate. Its timeless quality should be taken into consideration, especially as we move into a new age of redefining the role of public libraries.
At the same time, we need to embrace our unduplicated identity as public information service provider and community connector. Moving toward the term member may help us develop a more engaged public and transform the public library identity in the twenty-first century to a more active community environment. It has the potential “to brand the library as a platform for community learning and development”22 by inviting our supporters to actively belong to our libraries.


正直モヤモヤがすっきり晴れたという記事ではなかったのですが、公共図書館の場合税金で運営しているでしょうから市民が運営を支えていることになります。だから、市民の利用者をpatronと呼ぶという感じなのでしょうか。


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