It's National Library Week and the perfect time to shower our public libraries with love. They are amazing gateways to knowledge for everyone in the community. I'd like to thank my own local library (Rogers Public Library) for allowing me to take photos and giving me some input for this blog.
The world is changing and libraries are changing with it. When I spoke with my local library before writing this article there was a big emphasis on the changes that libraries are currently undergoing. They're expanding to include more and more digital content and electronic resources. If you haven't visited your library in a while you might be surprised at what they offer. It's time to drop by and see what's new. Here are five ways you can show your library some love!
1. Celebrate what makes your library unique: Every library has its own specialities. Take some time to find out what makes your library different. I was impressed with my library's sizable graphic novel section, and the mood-lit teen library in its own room. (I was also surprised—and delighted—to find Nemo swimming in a fish tank near the children's books.)
2. Get Involved: Libraries do a lot more than house books! Many offer unique programs and serve as a community hub. These activities go beyond the summer reading programs of our youth. A library might hold a Lego-building program, offer computer classes, or host a Maker's Fair showcasing local artisans (like my awesome library does.) They're also a great place to volunteer if you have skills to share.
3. Embrace the Digital Age: Explore what digital resources your library has to offer. Many libraries now offer eBooks, digital magazines, films & music. My local library has nearly 100 computers on site including kid friendly computers with educational children's software.
Many libraries are also offering wi-fi these days. Why not drop by your local library for your internet fix instead of paying for overpriced coffee?
Heyyyy...that book looks familiar!
4. Enjoy the Quiet: When I asked my Facebook feed what they most enjoyed about libraries I was surprised that many of them answered “the quiet.” But upon reflection it made perfect sense. In today's busy world there are few places we can be assured of a tranquil environment. Libraries are reliably quiet and therefore the perfect place for studying, reading, and relaxing.
5. Be a joiner: It's expensive to run a library—heating, electricity, new books, magazine subscriptions, and librarian's salaries—and late fees can't cover everything. If you get a lot out of your local branch, consider giving to their annual fund or joining the "Friends of..." group to help raise money. Remember, every little bit counts!
6. Check out a book!: This is a simple action that shows our libraries how much we love them. And those library fines we hate? Easy to avoid by setting a simple reminder alert on our smart phones. (And even if we forget...the fine goes to a good cause.)
Libraries need our support to continue serving the community. So visit, participate, check out a book, or volunteer to show your library your love.
What do you love most about your local library? Let us know in comments!
Sarah Shotts is a blogger, vlogger, and “nerdlywed”. Recently married she blogs about living a nerdy life as a newlywed on her blog. She also vlogs about all things geeky on the Swot Sisters Youtube channel she created with her sister Mary. When she’s not making stuff on the internet she’s busy teaching theatre classes and doing wedding photography and video.