Without Libraries, What do we have?
We have no past and no future.
Budgets have been hit hard all over the United States. Library branches and libraries themselves are being closed despite the heavy traffic within them. It's hard to afford a 'luxury' when jobs are becoming scarce, and local and state governments are in debt.
Mind you, I don't want to whine about our budget. Iowa and Spencer in particular are on a firmer fiscal footing than many places across the country. And the library doesn't need to make drastic cuts. Yet. Here's the thing, I would like to remind patrons and the community of all we have because there's a library in our town.
* Libraries are a place for education and self-help. Because they bring access to all, they bring opportunity to all.
* Libraries are part of the solution when a community is struggling economically. From free access to books and online resources for families to library business centers that help support entrepreneurship and retraining, libraries support lifelong learning. They are a haven for families with children. This place supplements the education their children get in our schools.
What other ways are libraries good for our community?
In this excerpt taken from the American Libraries Magazine, we list twelve reasons why:
1. Libraries Sustain Democracy
They provide access to information so people can make informed decisions.
2. Libraries Break down Boundaries
They offer services and programs for people at all literacy levels.
3. Libraries Level the Playing Field
Libraries make technology available to all regardless of their background.
4. Libraries Value the Individual
They offer choices and swing the door open for independent thinking.
5. Libraries Nourish Creativity
Libraries provide an atmosphere that stimulates creativity.
6. Libraries Open Young Minds
They offer story hours, book talks, summer programs, competitions and other programs to spark the imagination.
7. Libraries Return High Dividends
Anywhere from $1.30 to $10 in services for every $1 invested in them. They make communities more desirable to live in.
8. Libraries Build Communities
People gather at the library to share information and to explore concepts, ideas, and opinions.
9. Libraries Support Families
Libraries offer a place for parents and children to enhance their activities.
10. Libraries Build Technological Skills
For seniors, the library offers a safe, comfortable place to learn skills that will connect them to their families and the wider world. The library supplements what kids are learning in school.
11. Libraries Offer Sanctuary
Kids and families can stop in to do homework, get away from noisy siblings, or other activities going on at home.
12. Libraries Preserve the Past
By preserving the record of the community and helping patrons make sense of it. Genealogy, online databases, and historical records are all available at the library.