Great philanthropist and library hero Andrew Carnegie, who donated money to build over 2,500 libraries now known as Carnegie Libraries, said it best, “There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the Earth as the Free Public Library — this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.”
The incredible stories, history, and worlds that lie on the pages of books help to develop an imagination and offer a great escape. Books do remain the cornerstone of a library, but gone are the days when a patron had to find a title using a card catalog and the services offered included mostly books and reference. Libraries have quickly transformed themselves into the cultural centers of communities. They have become places to meet, study, learn, develop, and even play.
I feel such a kinship to the library and the variety of services they offer that I decided to make a career out of it and get an MLIS degree. My fascination with libraries began at an early age when I would visit my mom at the library while she worked the reference desk. I would spend hours exploring the stacks of books, videos, and games baffled that these were all available for free. I still enjoy visiting my mother at the reference desk just as I did twenty years ago, only now we talk about upcoming novels instead of her picking out the latest picture books for me. Now, more than ever, these cultural institutions are needed.
The things that are waiting to be discovered at the library are practically innumerable. As technologies develop, so too do the ways that patrons can enjoy materials, I never imagined that it would be possible to checkout and download a book without even visiting the library, and now it’s possible from a library’s virtual branch. I am so excited to be a part of offering this great service to libraries, and I’m sure that my child-like wonderment for libraries is still alive.
Next week we take the time to celebrate libraries and all that they do for the communities that they serve. National Library Week sponsored by the American Library Association, from April 11-17, sets aside time to honor libraries and their importance in society.
Editor’s Note: Celebrate National Library Week and win free stuff! We’ll give away one publisher prize package featuring audiobooks, print books, and DVDs to a lucky reader. Check back Monday for details on how you can enter.
| Leave a comment