I love going to the library. You can find me wandering the shelves in one of the libraries in my area on almost a weekly basis. I browse the audio books, new fiction, non-fiction, and even the teen section.
Taking advantage of the free resources the library offers enables me to maintain my reading habit. The retail value of the audio book I just finished? $60.00! From my local library? Free. And that is priceless.
There is more to libraries than the books that line their shelves. In this information age, we can go to Google for facts. But what Google doesn’t have is a helpful librarian to offer suggestions or advice.
I cannot say it better than Neil Gaiman who spoke about libraries in his lecture on Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming:
“…But libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.
I worry that here in the 21st century people misunderstand what libraries are and the purpose of them. If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally. But that is to miss the point fundamentally.”
The full lecture is long but I agree wholeheartedly.
February is library lovers month! Here are ways you can get involved with your local library:
Check out what’s happening at your library. From writing workshops and book sales to Downton Abbey tea clubs, you might be surprised at the options.
Bring the Kids
Libraries are for families! Encourage a love of learning in your kids by letting them wander the shelves and find books that speak to them. Let them imagine and create.
Whether you donate your time or your money, you are supporting a great cause. You can help organize a book sale or host a discussion group.
“We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.” – Neil Gaiman
This infographic says it all: