All my life libraries have been important to me, first as a student, then as a researcher and now as a writer. Most people would give libraries a thumbs up, even if it meant using it as a place for respite from the rain.
I got to thinking about the many uses of the library after reading an article by Tracy Saelinger, “7 Things Your Librarian Wants You to Know.” (Woman’s Day, 11/12) She wanted readers to be aware that libraries:
a. stock video games and movies to be checked out free of charge
b. provide complimentary or discounted admission passes to museums science centers and zoos.
c. assist in forming book clubs together with discussions guides.
d. plug readers into e-books and Wi-Fi service.
e. provide answers to reference questions 24/y on their web sites
f. have career centers with resources for job searches and resume writing
g. reserve books to be sent to your home.
But, of course, there’s more. To her list I’d add: access to computers and the internet, reading programs for children, assistance to those with low vision or no vision through large print, Braille or talking books. Libraries will research requested topics, and they provide a steady supply of classics and new books for free to everyone.
So who doesn’t like libraries? Only Oliver Larson, my youthful hero of Heart Land. But he learned to know better.