Thursday, September 2, 2010
David Weinhold: 'Libraries are Community Centers"
Link to September 2 David Weinhold's Letter to the Editor in the Sheboygan Press.
Excerpt: September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Libraries support literacy education by providing teaching resources, space for tutoring and information and referral services, as well as with free access to music, DVDs, the Internet, books and more. By getting children to read, librarians create lifelong readers, and that makes for better citizens and that makes for a healthier democracy.
Of course, library cards aren't just for kids. A recent report found that the importance of libraries in American life continued to grow in 2010 — and accelerated dramatically as the national economy sank and people looked for sources of cost-effective help in a time of crisis. In fact, 68 percent of American adults have a library card. Now, more than ever, Americans turn to — and depend on — their libraries and librarians for financial information, computer and Internet access, and, of course, books, movies and more.
Public libraries are community centers where people of common or disparate interests gather to play chess, knit and visit, receive community information, listen to candidate debates, visit with state and national legislators, discuss books, meet authors and the list goes on. Many community agencies in the library System find the library meeting rooms a convenient place to meet.