Monday, July 4, 2016
Libraries- A Great American Freedom
Last Monday, my phone calendar dinged to remind me to call my local library, as it was opening day to sign up for July's summer programs for children. My children and I were excited as we browsed through the events list and picked out several interesting programs to look forward to, including a planetarium display and a self defense class to include their ages. It dawned on me that many people under appreciate their local library and all the wonderful things it can provide for the community.
I shouldn't have to point out that a building full of books to borrow for free (unless you, like me, contribute financially in late fees) is amazing in and of itself. But it goes beyond that. Libraries help local authors by buying their books and hosting them for signings and Q&A sessions. And I know my library also has a writing group that meets twice a month, encouraging writers regardless of genre or journey and offering constructive criticism along the way.
Libraries also provide internet access for those who wouldn't otherwise have it available to them. Be it for job searching, homework, or just browsing the web, it's there and ready to be used. Not sure how to use a computer? Don't worry, some libraries provide classes for this, resume building, ancestry research, and other valuable skills.
Looking to make friends? Go to the library. My children have made new friends during story and craft time, playing in the children's room, and reading to therapy dogs. I've made friends reaching for the same book as someone else. My brother and I also connected with some trivia buddies at a 90s themed trivia night (I'm still bummed that I've missed both Harry Potter trivia nights aimed at my age range). Another thing my library offers that I love are gaming events. Pokemon, board games, and even video games. OH! And the 75th anniversary of Batman event! That was amazing!
I'm sure I'm forgetting a few benefits of libraries outside of the obvious books option, but these are some of the ones we've utilized in my family. Libraries truly are wonderful places, often overlooked and brushed off without consideration for their community building efforts.
Why do you appreciate your library and what do you use it for? Any unique programs you've found?