Books have the power to change lives, so imagine the potential a library has to transform a community. Besides providing access to books, movies, music, video games, and toys, libraries also offer programs ranging from book clubs to computer literacy to concerts. At Pages Unbound, we love libraries and the work they do, so we asked several bloggers to share what they love about their libraries. Come back all July to help us celebrate libraries!
Briana already covered many of the wonderful resources and services libraries have to offer, but, of course, there’s more! Below find listed some of my favorite library offerings.
Libraries these days seem to offer just about everything, but the possibilities expand once you add the Internet. With my library’s online resources, I can rent a book in my pajamas, learn a new language without worrying about having to return an audio disc in three weeks (really, when is the last time anyone learned a language in three weeks?), and access tons of cool research sites that specialize in various disciplines. One of my biggest recommendations to others, though, are the test preparation programs. Now students can study for various tests without having to worry about shelling out tons of money for a course or even $20 for a book (though libraries, of course, often carry those, as well). Plus the Internet means the practice tests will be timed and scored for you! Some resources even offer preparation for career tests.
Parent and Teacher Resources
I don’t have a child, but I have been in positions where I’ve had to teach younger children various skills from reading to math. It sounds simple enough in theory–I can read and add, after all! But knowing how to do a thing is different from knowing how to teach it. Libraries often have special materials marked for parents or teachers that will help patrons learn how to teach literacy, math, grammar, and more. Issue books about making friends, dealing with peer pressure, staying healthy, and more can also often be of use, while craft and game books can inspire a night of family fun.
Story Times and Play Times
The library is a great place for children to get together and learn while having fun. Story times focus on helping children learn to love reading, but they can also show parents how to read with their little ones at home. Play times, meanwhile, are a fantastic way for children to get hands-on with learning, whether that means creating a beautiful work of art, attending a science camp, or discovering the possibilities of blocks and architecture.
Sadly, not everyone has access to a local library, but despite budget cuts, libraries still make an effort to reach under-served populations, whether that means running a bookmobile or going to schools. Librarians know what they do matters, and they’re willing to go the extra mile to make a difference in the community.
Librarians are there to help, whether that means tracking down a DVD, recommending books, or directing patrons to resources they didn’t know existed. Handling so many requests while still maintaining a clean and ordered library can’t be easy, but they manage to do it with a smile, while never turning anyone away.