Why Libraries Rock

I’m reviving this blog (however briefly) to join the LFPL Blogathon! As you may have heard, the Louisville Free Public Library in Louisville, KY, suffered major damage from the more than FOUR FEET of flood water in their building in July. The water was a result of a flash flood. Steve Lawson, of the Library Society of the World kicked off a PayPal drive to raise $5,000 for the library foundation by tomorrow, Sept 1. Then a blog-a-thon was created by Andy Woodworth to push the fund drive over the edge. So, go, give, and support a library in trouble.

Why should I support a library, you ask? Because Libraries Rock! (c’mon, you had to see that coming, with the title and all). Libraries rock because they are a haven. Public libraries, especially, allow anyone to come in and learn. Read, discover, learn, talk, get online – all of that takes place at your local public library. Storytimes for small kids, book groups for bigger kids (aka grownups), teen programs (gaming! comic books!), computer lessons for seniors (and others), a warm dry place in the winter, a cool one in the summer. All that is your local public library. Librarians and staff who will help you find almost anything, whether they agree with your views or not.

In these times of economic stress, the library can be so many things to people. You can use the library to find a job, “rent” a movie, check out books on tape for that commute or vacation trip, improve your skills in *whatever* to fix your house, your job, your marriage, your life. Whatever you want to do, chances are you can find out how to get started at the library.

Lets not forget academic libraries, special libraries and school libraries! They rock too! Academic libraries are full of people who want to help students succeed. All the academic librarians I know are passionate about helping students learn and improve the skills they need to do top-notch research so that they can be successful, both in academia and whatever they endeavor to do in the future.

Special libraries….the forgotten few. Tucked away in hospitals and corporate headquarters, these librarians and library staff have to continually prove they’re worth the money the company spends on them. They support research and development, patient education, physician education, and so many other things.

School librarians….we all hear about how education funding is cut and school librarians (or school media specialists, if you will) get cut. These are the people who teach your children not how to read, but how to *love* reading. How to do research. How to use a computer. How to avoid bad information on the internet. All the most basic skills that students need to be successful adults in this information heavy world we live in. They toil tirelessly in schools, loving the kids and working for them.

In short, libraries rock. Hard. They support all walks of life, from Kindergarten on into the corporate office. They help you find what you need, and maybe even what you didn’t even know you wanted! They provide the community with a place to gather and a place to find inexpensive entertainment. They’re, in my unbiased (yeah, right) position, one of the best values you can get for your tax dollar. Even if you don’t support Louisville Free Public Library with a donation, I hope you support your own local public library by stopping by. Get a library card! It’s free! You’d probably be amazed at what you can find there.

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