It’s National Library Week and I must confess, I LOVE libraries. I still remember getting my first library card and the feeling of excitement that came with checking out and taking home my big stack of books. When I was in school, the library was always my safe place. It’s where I studied and found a quiet place to browse the stacks. After college, when I worked in Washington, DC I was transfixed when I visited the Library of Congress and took in the beautiful space that houses it its massive collection of books and materials.
Now as a mom, I still LOVE libraries. Any parent who has tried to keep a little book worm fed on a weekly basis, especially in the summer, knows that it takes a small fortune to buy enough books to keep up. Whether it is for story time or just a trip so each of my three kids can pick out their next great read, going to the library is one of our favorite family activities.
In addition to thousands and thousands of books, most libraries offer Spanish-language materials, large print books for the visually impaired, and have a healthy selection of audio books. I hate when I hear people say that they don’t need libraries anymore because they have access to the internet or they use an e-reader. Libraries have done a terrific job with keeping up with the needs of the communities they serve. Do you know, you can check out books for your e-reader online with your library card? (Now I will say, while I love my e-reader, nothing beats walking through the stacks, browsing book covers and letting a title catch your eye.) Many libraries even provide patrons access to the latest technology like Google Glass or 3-D printers. Libraries continue to be the great equalizer.
If you haven’t visited your local library recently, I would encourage you to stop by. They are still filled with wonderful books, and provide a quiet space to get work done, but they also provide so much more.