Support Your Local Public Library

Last week I went to the local public library for a meeting. Unbeknownst to me, the meeting had been canceled, so I decided to take the opportunity to sign up for a new library card (I hadn’t used the library since my son was a boy).

After I registered at one of the computers, I moved over to the main desk to complete my registration and receive my new card. The librarian was so helpful and enthusiastic as she handed me pamphlet after pamphlet about the library’s many resources and services available today.

She asked me if I was aware of all of that the public library has to offer and I replied, “No, please tell me”.

Did you know? The Sno-Isle Library system includes 22 libraries across Snohomish and Island Counties? More than a million books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and other material? That if I couldn’t find an item, I could request a search from any one of the other system libraries or even outside the system if necessary? Also, I can download books, audio books, magazines, and stream music and video from the library’s on-line emedia?

No, I did not know that!

She continued to tell me about the electronic resources at the library. I can use them to map my family tree, take practice exams, learn languages or train in technology skills.

Through my on-line account, I can chat live with a librarian and request a “Book-a-Librarian” session for personalized face-to-face help. There is homework assistance, ongoing events and classes, and printing services (up to 70 pages per week).

No, I did not know all of this!

“This is the public library for the 21st century”, I remarked. “I have always been a proponent of the library”, thinking about my son as a child and now my grandchildren.

Our conversation took us to the subject of libraries across the nation, the unfortunate demise of library systems and how some states have actually voted down funding for public libraries. I was aghast with disbelief and disappointment. I wondered if the age of on-line access to information was considered sufficient enough to replace such an indelible institution as the public library? Don’t they realize that the libraries today offer state-of-art resources and educational materials that are free to anyone, anywhere? Why, they still have the Library on Wheels program that I remember as a kid!

I have always considered myself a “lifelong learner” and even so, I haven’t given much thought to public libraries except in my role as a parent or grandparent. Now, I’m excited to go to the library again and check out books and DVDs and research my family tree… I guess I can still learn something new every day!

Support your local public library!

M Morgan