Monday, November 29, 2010

What's the library to you?

One reason I love libraries is that the library serves the whole community. It's not just children, it's not just 30-somethings or 50-somethings, it's not just people from work or from my immediate neighborhood -- it's people of all ages, people from all kinds of backgrounds and people with all kinds of interests.

As we have begun renovating our libraries (which means the branch library is closed for six months or so), it has been interesting to hear from people asking "when will the library reopen?" They all have different reasons why they're anxious to get back to the library.

Some have children or grandchildren who miss the picture books and programs. Some read a book or more a week, and they're anxious to get back to "my library" in their own neighborhood. Some need the computers or the assistance with computers that staff provide, because they need to communicate across the internet.

All of them, however, express in different ways that the library is an important aspect of their neighborhood and of their life. The common thread is that the library is a place that exemplifies important values for them. One mother of young children said that the library is a calming place. An older man said that the library is where everyone is nice - maybe not always on their best behavior, but behaving as if they respect you. A 40-ish woman said she's looking for a job, and the library is where people help you.

Isn't that great - a place where we are supported as a community to learn, to share, and to grow.

What's the library to you?

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