Happy Library Appreciation Week! I love libraries, even more than that I appreciate them. My childhood would not have been the same without them, and it's not a stretch to say that my adult life would be quite the same either. Bloggers around the web are sharing their library love this week, as well as their library fears.
Let's kick off with some library love. Shari Maurer interviewed librarian Arlene Sandner. When Maurer and a friend were looking to meld their love of reading with their daughters Sandner helped them create a mother/daughter that is still running eight years later. She used Library Appreciation Week as an opportunity to pick Sander's brain about the good and the bad of being a librarian.
#2. What's your favorite part of being a librarian? Your least favorite? Discovering the treasures of a public library was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Libraries offer lifelong learning, on just about any topic, for free, and to anyone, regardless of their circumstances. It feels like a privilege to work in a great library such as The New City Library, where I have been fortunate to spend the last twenty years. I love being a guardian of information and culture, and helping people to find their way through all that’s available. I love being surrounded by great books, films and all kinds of sources of knowledge.
See Heather Write expressed her love of not only of the book that she gets from her library, but also the services that it provides.
If you never have, you should definitely check out your local library to see what's coming up on the calendar. For example, at various branches in my area, upcoming events include a Sherlock Holmes film festival, a writer's support group (hey! I didn't know about that! I might check it out...it's at 1PM on Wednesday, but I could go during my lunch break!), various book clubs, Zumba at the library!, and classes teaching Microsoft programs, drawing, interview skills, and chess strategies for children. Wow! And it's all FREE!!!
Angela at Bookish Blather shares her library memories. Tell me you didn't get a little bit soft inside reading about her first library card.
I still remember getting my first library card in 1st grade - my local library back then was a squat and relatively dark building. Across from the circulation desk was a huuuuuuuuuuge card catalog - it towered over little ol' me. I could hardly sign my name on the little card (I remember being especially irked that the signing space wasn't wide enough to accommodate the bottom tail of the 'g' in my name) but I held on to that thing for dear life.
The children's room even had a faux carousel! I'm jealous!
The Neverending Shelf post starts off with praise for libraries.
Ever since I was a child, my local library has been like a second home to me. I could go there for book advice, to discover a new adventure, or just to be by myself for a couple hours. For me, there is nothing better than spending a couple hours surrounded by books. I love the feel of them in my hands... the smell... you get the idea.
Following her library love she moves on to realities and in many districts librarians are hurting. Their funding is being cut as their usership increases. She makes some suggestions for how you can help support your library, some of which are as simple as taking care of the items you borrow. She's contributing herself by donating a number of books to her local library. How many? Well that just depends on how many comments her post gets. Now there's an incentive to comments if I ever heard one.
Stefanie at So Many Books says yay for libraries but she points out the lack of funding that libraries are facing. She recommends another way to potential help out libraries.
Another way you can show your library some love if you live in the United States is by contacting your senators and asking them to include funding in the FY2011 budget for the Library Services and Technology Act and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program.
Mitali turned her blog over to a special guest blogger, who talks about the personal aspect of the loss of school librarians. Anisha is an eighth grader and uses the platform to speak out about the proposed librarian cuts in her district.
I know that instead of librarians we would have 'support staff' who would get trained to give us more information and technology. But don’t you see? We have access to more than enough information, we really need someone who can sift through all of it and give us what is best for each individual.
I really do believe that libraries are the cornerstone of a community. During Library Appreciation Week take a moment to tell your local librarians how much you do care about the services they provide. Your kids could make them a card. I've never seen a gift card to a local coffee shop be turned away. For the library itself you could donate some books, or maybe even your time at a library volunteer.
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