“When I discovered libraries, it was like having Christmas every day.”–Jean Fritz, children’s author
Last week was National Library Week, and, though we’re a week late, it’s never too late to discover or rediscover your local library! Just don’t plan on visiting the Columbus Metropolitan Library downtown branch any time soon. Realizing the continuing importance of libraries, officials made the difficult decision to close it while undergoing a major renovation to expand, keep the library user-friendly and up-to-date with ever-changing methods of acquiring information. The Columbus Metropolitan Library will reopen in August 2016.
The area still has nearby newly updated branches and suburban libraries to meet patrons’ needs. The closest libraries are the Parsons and Driving Park branches, which have computers for those who rely on them for connection to the internet. Still, this beautiful old building is like a home to some of the regulars, many of whom often lined up before the doors opened at 9:00 AM. In his April 9th Columbus Dispatch column Joe Blundo poignantly shares the importance of this library to its regular patrons including some of the area’s homeless. Originally built in 1907 the Columbus Metropolitan Library was last restored in 1990.
If you’re interested in what’s in store for libraries, the Columbus Metropolitan Club will present a forum Authors, Books and Libraries, The Next Chapter Wednesday, April 22 from noon to 1:15 PM. The forum will feature an author-hosted book fair prior to it from 11:00 AM to noon. The link above gives details on the event.
An earlier blog entry lists the top ten reason to visit your local library. We reposted them below.
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