I don’t have to look far to find treasures. I discover them every time I visit a library. ~ Michael Embry
I have always loved the library. As a young girl, I spent many summers participating in the Vacation Reading Club at the Northeast Regional Library in Philadelphia. I also worked as a “page” shelving books in the picture book room. It was heaven! But oh how libraries have changed. Back in those days, the library had books and magazines, microfiche, and a card catalog. Today, you can find just about anything you need or want.
According to a Gallup Poll, “In U.S., library visits outpaced trips to movies in 2019.” The library is most utilized by young adults, women, and residents of low-income households. “Visitin the library remains the most common cultural activity Americans engage in.” They average about 10.5 trips a year. Frankly, I don’t know why even more people aren’t using libraries.
Take my local library, The Horsham Township Library, for instance. I spend a good deal of time tutoring there during the summer. On any given day you will see senior citizens using the computers to check email or watch movies, teenagers gathering to study or to hang out and have coffee, or young children who are happily searching for books or playing in the picture book section. It is delightful.
Here is just a taste of what my local library offers.
- Book Clubs – fiction & nonfiction
- Summer Reading Incentives
- Museum Passes
- Movies – to borrow & movie viewing events (day & evening times)
- Story Times – preschool (day & evening times) – Stories & STREAM
- Career Readiness – resume writing & polishing
- Watercolor Classes
- Holiday events
Of course there are many things to borrow besides books. My library has kits & cake pans, movies, audio files, and e-resources all available for its patrons, and they are adding materials and services often.
I do have quite a nice collection of books in my classroom, but I could never afford to get every picture book title I might want to use with my students. I simply go online and reserve the titles I want, and I am notified when I can pick them up. If my local library doesn’t own the title, they import it from another library. This has been an invaluable service to me over the years.
What have been your experiences at your local library? Give a shout out to your favorite library, and tell us what you love about it. How has your library helped you to be a better teacher? A better writer? Looking forward to hearing from you!