Thursday, January 7, 2016

Libraries, Love 'em!

As you all know I love to read. I love books period, but equally loved and revered in my heart is my good ol’ public library, which actually isn’t old, it’s pretty new and quite hip (photo above is from my library's upstairs alcove). It has a lovely little fireplace with some comfy chairs placed nearby for some cozy cold-weather reading. Of course these are prime real estate, so they are never, ever, ever available when I stop by for a visit. It also has a little café downstairs, which on occasion has had surprisingly good banana bread, but I digress.

Libraries in general are undervalued and underrated, so I thought I’d throw them some much needed and well-deserved love. So, here’s a little reminder as to the wonders they have to offer, and a little virtual poke and a nudge in hopes you’ll go and rediscover your local library.

Beyond the obvious access to books, libraries offer a wealth of information and other resources. Whether you’re looking for reference materials, magazines, DVDs, audio books or even e-books. Yes, you can borrow e-books for free, you don’t need to make Amazon or B&N richer. Don’t forget about the librarian and/or all the other wonderful staff always ready, willing and able to help answer your questions. English author Neil Gaiman said “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” Ain’t that the truth! (Pardon my grammar).

Libraries also build community through the countless programs and classes they offer; bringing local citizens together that might otherwise have nothing in common. My library for example has a mahjong group (don’t know what mahjong is but I’m glad there’s a group just for them), yoga classes, and computer classes. Just as importantly, they have free concerts on weekends that help make art and music accessible to individuals that might not otherwise be exposed to these moments of beauty that help feed not just the mind, but the soul.

Lastly, libraries are the great equalizer. They serve everyone in the community, regardless of age, income level, ethnicity, or religion. They offer everyone free access to books and computers. Thanks to libraries, knowledge is but a fingertip away from everyone’s hands.

So, love your public library and show it. Start with a visit.