“When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.”–Jean Fritz, children’s author
In difficult economic times libraries are vulnerable to drastic budget cuts, yet it is in hard times that many people discover the myriad benefits of their local libraries. By the way, if your library’s budget is threatened, don’t be afraid to speak out. When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced cuts to library hours and staff, public outcry was so loud Emanuel restored $3.3 million to the library’s budget. Cuts were still made, but the public’s voice was heard, and the cuts were far less severe. Following are ten good reasons to visit your local library.
10. DVDs, DVDs, DVDs. You can watch newly released movies, television programs, documentaries, and classic flicks for free. Many libraries have reserve lists. Get on the list, and your library will contact you when your movie is available.
9. Movies. Some libraries show movies regularly. Sorry, no popcorn.
8. Music. CDs of classic rock, musical or movie soundtracks, country, rap, classical, and many other musical genres are available at your local library.
7. Computers. All manner of technology awaits you at the library, whether you need to spruce up your resume, read your email, or surf the internet.
6. Career resources. Libraries have a large collection of career and job-search materials, host presentations from human resources experts, and offer assistance filling out on-line applications.
5. Special programs. Libraries present special events with authors, musicians, historians, archeologists, world travelers, chefs, and many other experts.
4. Summer reading programs. Most public libraries have summer reading programs for their school-age patrons. Prizes are awarded after so many reading hours have been clocked. These programs help prevent academic skills from eroding over the summer.
3. Story time. Many a patron’s first experience with the local library is as a preschooler listening to a librarian read and act out a book.
2. Book clubs. If you can’t find a local book club, check out your local library. Just like a private book club, everyone reads the same book and convenes afterwards to discuss it.
1. Books. Whatever book you desire, your local library can provide it. If it’s not in their collection, they can get borrow it from another library. And it doesn’t cost you a dime.
–Judith Barker and Bonnie James