It's cranberry harvest time in Southeastern Massachusetts and that means I'm seeing this as I…
It’s a week to celebrate love and today I want to remind all of you how important it is to love your local library. I know I’m mostly preaching to the choir here, since many of you have told me over the years about how important the library is to you. But, in case you need a reminder of the good work that libraries do . . . I’m gifting this New York Times article entitles, A Love Letter to Libraries, Long Overdue.
The article speaks to my heart and the photos give me so much hope. In case you don’t feel inclined to read the whole thing, I will share the two paragraphs that I love most . . .
Imagine a teacher who’s responsible for a mixed-age classroom where students are free to wander in and out as they please, all opinions are welcome and detention is not an option. This person is also the principal, the guidance counselor, the school nurse and, occasionally, the janitor. This person is your local librarian.
Best of all, you never need a reason or an invitation to go to the library. You aren’t required to make a reservation ahead of time or purchase a cup of coffee while you’re there. You can pop in when your Wi-Fi is on the fritz or you need a break from your roommates. You might go there to dry off or to cool down. To study for algebra or to read a romance novel. To stock up on thrillers or to take stock of your less-than-thrilling life. To meet a friend or to be alone. For a bit of excitement or for a moment of calm.
In a world centered on capitalism, the library is one of the only places left where you are not expected to spend money. Many people say that the library is free. And, while that’s true on some level, it’s not really free . . . it’s funded by tax dollars. So, rather than call it free, I tend to call it pre-paid. And, since you’ve already paid for it, you may as well use it.
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone reading this to hear that libraries are under fire in more ways than ever before. The cost of books, just like everything else, is up. Revenues are down. And we are scrutinized for the materials we purchase and the programs we offer. It’s not easy being a librarian these days. So, next time you visit your local library, show them some love. Tell them you appreciate them. Thank them for fighting to protect democracy and access for everyone. If you’re inclined to take the extra step bring them a sweet treat or some flowers.
Show your library some love. You won’t regret it.