For the Love of Libraries
By Alane Cunningham
In February, thoughts turn to love and romance to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
It is also a month to celebrate something you may not think about, “Library Lovers Month”. If you have not been to a library lately, this might be a good way to celebrate this month and perhaps, start a new habit for the new year.
Libraries have certainly evolved from a place where a large collection of books is housed.
In our new high tech culture, libraries are now home to any number of collections such as, print, audio and visual material, maps, prints, microfilm, documents, CD’s cassettes, videotapes, DVD’s, video games, e-books, audio books and other electronic resources.
Perhaps the most popular new function of a library is to provide computers and internet service to those in our community who have no access to these services at home.
Access for All
Quite frankly, for those people with low or modest incomes the cost of home- based cable or basic internet services along with the cost of a computer and printer are too high for those struggling to pay for housing, transportation and food. What a wonderful service our libraries perform by bringing the internet to these people. For every segment of our society the internet has become essential to apply for jobs, obtain basic information and news, and even apply for government programs like unemployment, social security and food stamps.
I think most people would agree, libraries are a good use of our tax dollars. Libraries serve every member of the community. And probably someone who is often not appreciated enough is the Librarian, They are there to help with research and to help find information for all patrons.
And while checking out the library it is an opportunity to celebrate another event. The week of February 20-24 is “Read to me” week. As Mark Twain said, “the man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them”. If you have an opportunity to read to a child, or show them around a library, you may be starting a love affair that lasts a lifetime.
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