Importance of Libraries
Why Visit Your Local Library?
Books are so important to life and society that communities everywhere have opened up libraries to help educate the people and provide books at no charge. Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin understood this concept so well that he created America’s first public library long before the United States was fully formed. Even though times have changed greatly since the 18th century, the need for libraries still remains.
About two years ago the county where I live planned to close a local library branch — the library closest to my house — citing that a new larger library would soon open up that wasn’t “too far” away from the other. While the distance wasn’t more than 2 miles away from my old library, the location and traffic patterns would prove to make the library more difficult to get to and out of.
The thought of the county closing a library down that was less than 5 years old was astounding to me. What a waste of money (and time) spent building and mapping out the area! Surprisingly the community rallied around the small library, creating bumper stickers and t-shirts, signing petitions and meeting with local businesses and government officials to change the plans. The library was eventually saved from closing and I tend to go there with my three children more often than ever now.
Benefits of Libraries
So other than the obvious option of borrowing books for free, what are some of the other benefits of your local branch?
- Digital downloads of e-books – you "rent" these books and "return" them later electronically
- Social groups, such as the “loop group” (a group of people that knit or crochet) that encourages community harmony and together-ness.
- Study groups — hints for standardized tests and professional tutors that donate time.
- Saves money— no more spending money on books and video rentals.
- Encourages good grades — Show your children the benefits of books, such as fun learning and teaching about things you don’t already know.
- Summer activities — such as story time, puppet shows and coloring pages.
- Educational options — online classes offered electronically through the library system
In summary, don’t think of your library as old fashion or out of date, instead think of it as retro-cool, or old-school and a great way to fill your time without getting too tech dependent on fun.