Public Libraries

March 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm Leave a comment

For those of you who don’t know, I work for a public library system. There’s been sooo much outcry from tax groups about the necessity for such organizations and from others saying they’ll be obsolete very soon. Really? I don’t see that happening. When money gets tight, public libraries become even more valuable. Yes, eBooks are popular and perhaps as time goes on, people will switch to them, but you can get them for free from your local library. And, as I mentioned in my Books post, I still like to read a book I can pick up and put down…not batteries or charging required.

So why are libraries important? Have you been to your local library lately? Due to tighter finances, I see lots of people who are out of work using the library to help them get jobs. Not only can they search for jobs, but they can type resumes, and use the Job and Career database for free. If you are looking for work, see if your library has that program, because it’s like one-stop shopping; it helps create a cover letter, resume, has a huge job database, assessment tests for figuring out what you might enjoy doing, and more. Five years ago, it was rare to see people in their 30s and 40s at the library during the day…not anymore.

Have a young child? What better place for them, than the library? There are story times, family friendly programs, books, videos, and even interactive ways to help your child succeed. They even have a homeschool group connection for support. Less time in front of the TV, more time spent socializing with others, and watching your child experience the joy of picking out his/her own books to read – now that’s priceless. There’s a lot going on for pre-teens and teens, too! I read an article today about how the average youth cell phone user can’t stand to be alone with their thoughts, because they are always talking or texting. Books open minds and imaginations, and create some necessary down time.

Like music? Want to learn a new hobby? Feel like you could use a little life-long learning? Head to the library! Our library has concerts for free, and plenty of programs that both entertain and enrich your life. Just because you may be my age (I’ve admitted I’m old), doesn’t mean that challenging your mind ends. There is always something new to learn about, if nothing else, just to stimulate your brain cells. Go to the library and head to the nonfiction section, peruse the shelves, and I’m sure you’ll find a book or two that interests you. The good news? You didn’t have to pay for it! If you don’t love it, you can return it (and like the Kohl’s ads, ‘No questions asked.’) For me, I can’t die anytime soon, because there are so many books I still want to read.

What are other reasons people use the library? We have lots of magazines and newspapers and nice places to sit and read them. You can even check out magazines. Need a quiet place to study? Book a study room. Have a meeting on the horizon, but no place to hold it? Library! Want to do genealogy research or find out more about your area? Library again. Got a new eReader, but can’t figure out how to use it? I know you know the answer to that question. And, there’s so much more that available at your fingertips, from Playaways to live help to answer burning questions. I’m sorry, but I know there are a handful of people who don’t see any value in the public library, but I bet it’s because they don’t use the one in their own community. It’s impossible to visit a library and not see something of value happening.

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