Why You Should Support Libraries Even if You Don’t Use Them

Discussion Post

Why You Should Support Libraries

Credit: chuttersnap – Unsplash

It’s that time again.  The time of year when the local government officials want to end taxpayer contributions to the library because “no one uses libraries anymore.”  The truth, however, is mostly likely that they don’t use the local library–because they can afford not to.  However, the library provides more than books.  The library offers services that promote equity in the community.  So why should you support the library even if you never step foot in it?

Library Services Benefit the Entire Community

The library:

  • allows students without computers or Internet access to do their homework
  • helps reluctant readers find books they might connect with
  • prevents “summer slide” through summer reading programs
  • enables students who can’t afford books to do their assigned school readings
  • connects the unemployed and homeless with community resources
  • enables individuals without Internet to search for jobs and print, fax, or email records to apply for benefits
  • offers resources to allow individuals to learn English–or another language!
  • directs individuals to the correct offices and the correct paperwork during tax season
  • promotes literacy and hands-on learning through storytimes and other activities and workshops
  • offers volunteer opportunities for teens and adults
  • teaches individuals how to use computers and the Internet
  • offers a cool place in summer and a warm place in winter for those without a home or those who can’t afford air conditioning or heating.

equal access, equal opportunity

The reality is that not everyone can afford a computer, Internet access, books, or DVDS.  Libraries are still integral and vibrant parts of the community and often they serve those whose monetary means are below those of the people who wish to stop funding libraries.  Cutting funds would only limit access to social services and educational tools for the people who need them most.  I’m sorry that some government officials have apparently not stepped foot in a library for years.  If they had, they would have seen a beautiful place–one where knowledge and opportunity are offered to everybody, regardless of their income.

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51 thoughts on “Why You Should Support Libraries Even if You Don’t Use Them

  1. jkimexploring says:

    100% agree. The library is an amazing place. Even though I don’t necessarily NEED my library it’s the place I go if I need to concentrate or be away from people. No one bothers you there. There was a quote I read somewhere that the library is the only place that likes you more than your wallet and that is just so accurate. I always love library support posts 😍

    Like

  2. thebookcorps says:

    This is such a great post and I’m sure everyone agrees with you!! I love my local library and use it all the time! My library is fantastic – if you request a book, they will buy it for the library so long as it’s been published within the past 2 years. I have saved so much money because of my library. and it’s a chill place to study 😀

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I love that libraries accept purchase requests! Mine will buy items, too, as long as they have enough money in the budget. I have sadly asked for books that they weren’t able to buy. 😦

      Yes! Sometimes I think of the hundreds of dollars I have saved by using the library and I’m amazed!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. alilovesbooks says:

    Great post. I used to pretty much live in the library when I was at school and am still there on a regular basis. It definitely seems more for community events and computers now than books (It can be very noisy) but it’s a brilliant and welcoming place.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I don’t generally study at the library. Mine doesn’t really have a great space for that. And some of the other patrons just sit there and stare at you because they’re not reading. And I find that weird and creepy. However, I appreciate their other services!

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      • alilovesbooks says:

        I have to admit I didn’t either. We just used to hang out there and pretend we were studying.

        That is definitely weird and creepy. I suppose it is free and warm so you’re likely to get some oddballs.

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        • Krysta says:

          That’s too funny! 😀

          Yeah, they’re probably in there because of the weather since they’re not reading. Maybe they like to people watch. But I think it works better if the people are moving past you, not sitting in front of you for an hour!

          Like

  4. Books Teacup and Reviews says:

    I so agree with you and I envy all countries and cities who have libraries with all benefits. Here the city I’m living in, there is no public/private library nearby. I have to shop online and the prices in store are also very high. 😦

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      That’s such a shame! It would be really hard for me not to have a library in the vicinity. I certainly don’t have a lot of extra spending money to buy tons of books and movies!

      Like

  5. alwaystrustinbooks says:

    I love libraries! I still make an effort to go to all the local libraries even though I can’t actually add any more books to my TBR! There is such a great atmosphere at a library. 😁👌

    Like

  6. Eve @DreamSleepRead says:

    Love this post! Growing up I was always amazed at how our local librarians could find and recommend me books that I loved like 90% of the time! ( they have magic I swear). It was also very cool seeing students who struggle with reading come back with a book they read, enjoyed, and coming back to ask for another.

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  7. Ravenclaw Book Club says:

    Libraries are so important! I rarely use one, because I’m more comfortable studying and doing everything else at home, but a lot of my friends rely on them to get their work done. I can’t even imagine how much of a sanctuary they must be for people who maybe have a difficult family situation and can’t concentrate at home. x

    Like

  8. saraletourneau says:

    Libraries are wonderful places. 🙂 And not just for books, research, writing, and whatnot. Some (including my local library) offer discounts to local museums and historical attractions, and you can reserve a pass using your library card. I’ve also been keeping an eye on my library’s event schedule, since they frequently have local authors, musicians, and other people stop by.

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    • Krysta says:

      I’ve always wanted to try out the discounted passes! My library doesn’t currently do that, but I’ve seen other local libraries offer them. I think that’s so cool that they’re expanding access to other educational opportunities!

      And, yes! Sometimes quite famous authors come to the library! And I just think, “How did you even convince THEM to come?!” But it’s great because you don’t have to drive a long way to see them!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books says:

    I LOVE libraries. And this actually reminds me about one of our writing prompts on the AP Lang Test last year. It was a whole essay on if libraries are necessary with different opinions you had to synthesize. And some really interesting points were brought up. Like, libraries provide equal opportunity to technology, information, and book. Also, it facilitates discussion which is important in democracy and helps teach people important life skills, such as technology classes. And, FREE BOOKS.

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  10. christine @ the story salve says:

    100% agree! I grew up going to the library at least once a week, and as I get older I acknowledge the real benefit to having access to information for free. I recently moved back to my hometown and one of the things I’m most excited about is having access to a solid library system again. And I’ve been lucky, in my life, that even when I’ve been relatively broke, I’ve still been able to buy myself books now and then. I can’t imagine the folks who would really be screwed without the library.

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    • christine @ the story salve says:

      so I typed that last part really fast and then accidentally hit send.

      What I meant was: there are so many people who don’t have the resources to buy books, or don’t have access to computers, etc. and I hate that there are rich people who don’t care what will happen to those people without the library. Sorry for the long, disjointed ramble, haha.

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      • Krysta says:

        Exactly! I can’t imagine living such an isolated life that people genuinely don’t comprehend that other people NEED the library. It’s not just some quaint little thing for people who haven’t moved to ebooks or something–which is what the local officials sometimes seem to suggest.

        Liked by 1 person

        • christine @ the story salve says:

          Don’t get me wrong, ebooks are great for saving money, but the library is even better because it’s literally free. I think certain people labor under the delusion that knowledge should be expensive – hence why college degrees are bankrupting people nowadays. The whole idea is just backwards.

          Like

  11. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight says:

    This is such a phenomenal post! Thank you SO much for sharing it- you are so, so spot on about all of this! I don’t think people realize how vital libraries really are. I think the homework thing is such a biggie, too. I notice that my kid’s teacher just automatically assumes that everyone has access to computers, books, basically everything, and that just isn’t true. I always feel a pang of sadness when I realize that some of the kids will undoubtedly be struggling to find resources. Libraries are SO key with that. We live in a poorer town, and I know our library does SO much to help, especially school-age kids. And I know I use ours just to find new books for the kids- I buy the ones they love, but it’d be too hard to buy EVERY book they might like, so libraries always help me to find new favorites!

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    • Krysta says:

      Yes, I know teachers who assume students have access to computers or other devices. While it SEEMS like everyone has some sort of device, that is far from true! I can’t figure out the local officials imagine that their students are going to do if their library access is taken away. Yes, you could pay for a library card–but if you are using the library because you don’t have much money, that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      Yes! I get most of my books from the library. There is no way I could pay hundreds of dollars for all the books I read.

      Like

  12. Reading Tounwind says:

    great post! I 100% agree with you. I am very lucky the town I live in runs a lot of programs out of the library to help students and it is always packed when I go in. They offer a lot of tutoring programs which draws a lot of people.

    Like

  13. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    YES A MILLION TIMES OVER TO THIS POST!!! I can’t believe that so many people don’t get how important libraries are!! And whenever someone says “no one uses libraries” what they mean is they don’t use them. And just because some people can afford loads of books doesn’t mean everyone can!! (I for one definitely needed libraries to get my fix of books as a child- and still do now!!)

    Like

  14. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I hold libraries in the highest of regards. As someone who has not only enjoyed the benefits of the public library but benefited from them in difficult times, I feel that it should always be a high priority of the community to uphold them and support them ❤

    Like

  15. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    YES. This post 100%! I get so frustrated when people talk about defunding libraries. What sane person thinks that would be a good idea? Libraries are the core of many communities. I use my library weekly, if not more often. I don’t know how I’d be able to afford my book addiction otherwise. And there are so many services our libraries offer I never use– many of which I *should* use, honestly… Let’s here it for libraries!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yes, sometimes I feel bad I can’t go to all the library events. They’ve had concerts, community panels, and book discussions lead by local experts. All sound amazing, but I can’t always make it! But all of this is so positive for the community! Why would we want to end it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        Well, we aren’t the people who are advocating for the end of libraries. So, in that sense, it is totally logical that we can’t see why this is happening, or understand it. It just makes me so sad.

        The real question is this: How can we stand-up and support our local libraries?

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        • Krysta says:

          Right? Why can’t the people wanting to cut the budget read my blog? 😀

          Quite true! I think just patronizing them goes a long way since they can use the stats to make a case for more money! I also like to donate books and tell all my friends about their programs. 🙂 Writing letters to representatives can also help. (Though if they don’t represent you they don’t really care about your opinion so you have to make sure you’re writing to the correct people. No point in telling the neighboring city what to do with their tax dollars.)

          Like

  16. Emma says:

    I couldn’t live without my library. I visit every week. It’s so much more than that though – a place for every generation and something every generation can get something out of.

    Like

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