Did you know February is library lovers month? To celebrate and increase awareness of all that libraries can offer here's a list of seven reasons to love public libraries.
Growing up I loved the library. In the freedom of summer days, I would often head over to the local library to fill my free time. (And to spend some quality time with an air conditioner.) There was something about the building that I loved, even though it was tiny and part of a rundown strip mall.
The library filled me with a sense of comfort as I would walk through it appreciating the large bay windows and the rows and shelves of books. My favourite spots were always the ones tucked away. I could see and hear everything without feeling overwhelmed. (An introvert’s dream come true!) I was always charmed by the desks with their views towards those bay windows. I felt a longing to sit there with a pen, paper and book and to spend my days reading and researching away, if I am being honest the longing still exists.
The library was thoughtfully planned out with most books on one side of the welcome desk and a children’s area and conference room on the other. This setup kept the noise relatively confined. Of course, I must admit to having been a member of the noisy side on more than one occasion. As a young reader, I used the children’s side extensively though I was always diligent in keeping quiet…it was a library after all. As I got older, I would occasion the homework club with a friend. The purpose of the space was to get work done and have help readily available, but what I remember was hanging out with friends more than doing any work.
Today I can now recognize the value of libraries beyond my own uses. They so commonly become community centers, engaging everyone in the area by reaching out to the young and old alike. Many people I talk to are unaware of the many things public libraries offer, so I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite benefits they offer.
What are the benefits of public libraries?
This one is obvious, I know. The excitement of it still hasn’t worn off for me, so I had to place it right at the top of the list! Most libraries have more than just physical books available to its members. A library’s catalogue frequently offers magazines, historical writings, local history, movies, music, e-books and audiobooks.
The offering of these materials is an affordable way to foster a love of reading. Not to mention it does so in a way that is better for the environment — instead of each person buying a copy of a book increasing printing and production demand people are sharing a resource that is already in existence.
Not only is Wi-Fi available, but desktop computers are too. While many of us have access to a computer or a device to work on, not everyone has that same privilege. But, through many local library’s computers are available to the general public, and all that’s required to use one is signing up for a library card.
Online access to databases, online classes and magazine & news outlets, putting tons of information at the tips of your fingers.
Individual Reading & Studying Spaces
Spaces like those desks facing the bay windows, and many other options. Sometimes there’s lounge seating to relax and read in, but more often then not there is at least an individual desk and chair to get to work at.
Group & Conference Spaces
This is where the idea of a community center can be truly felt. These large spaces create a space for hosting larger groups whether for a formal meeting or casual get together.
Clubs & Workshops
Many libraries host clubs and workshops to their patrons. They host things like book readings, book clubs, knitting clubs, homework clubs, classes, and lectures, the possibilities seem endless.
The board room space also creates a place where community events can happen. For elementary school children, there may be a day camp available over the spring break, it may also become a place where community discussions can take place.
So, pop over to visit your local library and see what they have to offer!
Are you a library lover too? If so what’s your favourite thing about them? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!