Some people think that libraries are outdated or unnecessary. No matter how big or small a town is, the library could be one of the most important resources a community has. Skeptical? Here are five reasons that prove my point.
1. Libraries aren’t just books.
If you think the only thing you can find in a library is books, then you’ve never been in a library! There are classes to help kids socialize with each other. There are computers to help people who don’t have access to them. There are community education opportunities for the unemployed or those looking to expand their horizons. It’s a place for a community to gather to learn, grow, and get together.
2. Libraries help social problems.
People from all walks of life use libraries. Librarians become adept at seeing the needs of their community and changing or expanding to address those needs. They add classes about how to interview or how to write a resume for places that have high unemployment. They create after school programs in places where at-risk kids could benefit from them. Some libraries have even started adding free lunches in the summer! There is no place quite like a library.
3. Libraries advocate for the arts.
Art programs and schools are becoming an endangered species. No matter your income or background, at libraries you can take art classes, be exposed to local artists, and see art or artists that you may never have seen or heard otherwise.
4. Libraries are architecturally important.
There are very few libraries that don’t hold some sort of architectural significance for a community. Either because of the age, beauty, or bizarre layout of the library. Most of these buildings were something else before they were libraries. Did you ever hear about the abandoned box store that became a library?
5. Libraries are the great equalizer.
Anyone can get a library card. Anyone can use a library. It doesn’t matter your age, background, language spoken, or how much money you make. You can (and should!) use your library every day.
Libraries truly can turn a community around. Support your local library. See what they need. They spend a lot of time helping everyone else in the community, why not help them out for a change?