105 Ways to Give a Book

The Library: It’s a Place Where Books Are Free

In the current economic death spiral, my public library system, like many others, is facing cutbacks in materials, hours, and — ahem — staff. The irony is that public libraries are never more important then when times are bad. People come for Internet access to look for jobs, submit applications, and rewrite their résumés. Students find a place to study and work where you don’t have to spend five bucks on a cup of coffee. Book lovers borrow a few more books, instead of buying. English language learners join conversation groups to improve their communication.

Parents bring their children for storytimes, book groups, puppet shows, science programs — entertainment on a tight budget. Together they browse the shelves, read on the couches, and get away from the house. They leave with armloads of books and hours of something-to-do. And it’s all free.

Amazing.

I was going through some very old saved emails and found this video tribute to libraries. I haven’t thought of it in a while, though now that the song is back in my head I probably won’t be able to think of anything else. There’s better quality at the original site, but I had to embed it here for your viewing pleasure. The animation is a bit odd, but the message couldn’t be better.

10 comments:

Christine said...

I feel like shouting "Amen!" to this blog post. What would we do without our libraries? And what a shame if there hours and programs are cut and less new materials come in.

jone said...

I have rediscovered the library over the last year. It started with needing books on tape for the national board study. Then I realized, "Hey, I can borrow books to read and save money!" Brilliant! Yat for libraries!

Bill said...

"Librarians are often sexy..."

:-)

Saints and Spinners said...

This song never gets old for me. Let me know if you ever need a mp3.:)

Karen said...

A very pertinent post!!! I couldn't agree with you more about the power of libraries right now!

Marge Loch-Wouters said...

Thanks for the wonderful props to libraries. We are seeing our usage skyrocket. One of my favorite quotes during 30 + years of library service: "Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."

Jennifer Schultz said...

I went to Centreville the other day and thought about you. The place was packed, as usual. We haven't been asked to cut staff yet, and I'm hoping that remains the case. We would be in big trouble if we did (we have no Sunday hours anymore and our budget has been reduced-of course, visits are skyrocketing and our February circulation numbers are higher than last February, even though we have no more Sunday hours).

Candace Ryan said...

I love this video!

I'm hoping to raise public library awareness by blogging about my visits to as many L.A. public libraries as possible.

Librarypalooza! is lots of fun. I'd love to see other bloggers post reviews of their local public libraries.

Brimful Curiosities said...

We try to make weekly visits to our library. My daughter looks forward to the trips.

Kate Coombs said...

The library is one of my sacred spaces, frankly. And thanks for the link to the video--it's odd, but very heartening!