I have to take a moment to celebrate a cause that’s very near and dear to my heart.
This week (April 10-16) is National Library Week. It’s an annual event to celebrate libraries and the various contributions they make to enrich their communities. This year’s theme is Libraries Transform, which is intended to show the “transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries play in the digital age.” (from ILoveLibraries.org)
Many of you who read After the Last Page are probably loyal library users in your own hometowns. Sadly, a lot of people don’t know about the various services libraries offer, including (but not limited to):
- Access to thousands of books, ebooks, movies, and other audio/visual items
- Access to computers, internet, and wi-fi
- Storytimes and early literacy activities that help prepare young children for school
- Summer programs to engage children so they maintain the skills they learned they previous year, and are prepared for the school year to come
- After school and evening activities for teens to promote positive attitudes and behaviors, and to provide a safe space where they can feel comfortable being themselves
- Classes, programs, and activities for senior citizens to help them stay active, healthy, and social (such as computer classes, book groups, and health screenings)
- Resources for parents such as materials, programs, or a just comfortable place to sit and socialize with other moms and dads
- A happy, welcoming, and accepting environment for people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, cultures, and socioeconomic levels
(BTW: Most, if not all, of this stuff is usually 100% FREE.)
Here are some things libraries DON’T do:
- Censor or block access to information
- Charge you fines just because we feel like it (yes, this question does get asked every now and then).
In honor of National Library Week, we’re asking everyone to show libraries how important they are by supporting them any way you can! If you’re a dirt-poor millennial who can barely afford his/her rent, we get that you probably can’t make regular monetary donations to your library. But support doesn’t mean you need to be droppin dimes at every library branch in town.
- Check out some books every now and then!
- Follow, like, share, and retweet your library and its posts on social media!
- Donate your used books!
- Check out used book sales!
- Tell people about what your library has to offer! Word-of-mouth recommendations are great compliments to libraries :)
Libraries do so much for their communities and are often untapped resources. It’s so important we support our libraries and ensure they’ll be around for years to come.
Still need a convincing reason why you should support libraries and help them achieve their mission? To paraphrase the words of John Green:
“I don’t like living in a country with a bunch of stupid people.”
And, literally no one on the planet can disagree with this: