Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Strong libraries have something of value for everyone in Wisconsin. Beyond books, newspapers and magazines, today’s libraries are a community hub for classes, training opportunities, and so much more.
From adults upgrading their employment skills or searching for a job, to students cramming for an exam or writing a research paper, to young people enjoying story time or checking out their first chapter book, libraries are vital resources for any age. And demand for library services continues to grow. Wisconsin residents checked out 63 million items last year from public libraries and made more than 33 million library visits. Internet-based library services through BadgerLink, the state’s on-line library, are seeing growth as well.
In recognition of the importance of libraries and the services they provide their communities, the American Library Association and libraries across the nation are sponsoring National Library Week, April 11 to 17. Libraries form the heart of every community, which is reflected in this year’s National Library Week theme, “Communities thrive @ your library.”
But libraries are more than buildings. Trained library professionals in our school, academic and public libraries help patrons find resources: in the library, on line, or in the community. They search the world for answers. And, librarians recognize community needs. Recently, as communities struggled with the difficult economy, library staff partnered with job centers and technical colleges to increase programming to teach job skills, help prepare resumes, and facilitate employment searches. Clearly, investments in our libraries provide positive returns for our communities.
Libraries in Wisconsin are great resources. No matter your interest or need, libraries and library staff members are there to help. In honor of National Library Week, April 11 to 17, I encourage everyone to visit their local library and find out how “Communities thrive @ your library.”