I’ve loved libraries since I was introduced to them as a child. That love has yet to change, and my fondness only grows. Unfortunately, within the last decade, hundreds of libraries have been closing for one reason or another. And yet, they’re essential to our community. Here are easy ways to get the most out of yours and help keep it around.
1. Visit and Use Your Local Library
Utilizing your community library is one of the easiest ways to provide your support. Check out books and other materials, attend programs and events, and use one of the library’s computers if you need to.
Using the library regularly helps increase its “stats” for the year. This proves to those providing funding that the library is vital, and will best utilize cash and resources to stay up and running.
2. Request The Books You Want To Read
One gripe I notice about libraries is they don’t have enough of the books some people want to read. Librarians are amazing, but there’s no way they could guess every book they should order. That said, speak to one of the librarians and find out how to request materials that aren’t available. They can borrow them from other libraries and sometimes order copies to keep on their own shelves.
3. Ask If Your Library Needs Supplies, and Donate
Libraries usually offer much more than books. Maybe they could add some new DVDs or CDs to their collection, or art supplies for kid’s activities. If you have items you want to donate, check your community library and see what they need.
I’ve been to libraries when they’re overwhelmed with work but don’t have enough hands. Many libraries warmly welcome volunteers that can commit to helping out. If you have a particular skill or talent you could share, volunteer your time and services.
5. Lead A Program, Host A Learning Event, Give A Lecture
Useful skills are meant to be shared. If there are enough people interested in the information, skills, etc., the library can serve as a gathering place.
6. Advocate For Library Support Around The Neighborhood
Help spread awareness around the community. Let parents know about family-friendly and kid’s activities, and rally up arts and crafts supplies through book clubs. Keep your neighbors in the loop via social media.
7. If They Sell Things, Consider A Purchase
Some libraries have a small bookshop inside the building where patrons can purchase books and related accessories. Others have art and craft items donated by library-goers who enjoyed the free arts courses. My local library recently had some beautiful handmade quilts and vases available. Not only do the sales provide funding, but they usually make lovely displays and decorative pieces.
It’s also worth mentioning to your local representatives what a great job your library is doing. Link up with the American Library Association to keep tabs on the world of libraries and find local resources to support your community library.
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