Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why should I support my Local Library?

The New York Public Library puts it succinctly with a statement that applies to all public libraries:

The Library is a hub of knowledge, culture, and communication. Without your loyalty and support, this free and accessible public service simply would not survive.

Federal funding covers only a fraction of our expenses. The ongoing support of patrons like you determines what the Library is today and what it will be in years to come.

Whatever you geek, the public library supports you. 

Join Geek the Library in spreading awareness about the value of libraries and the critical funding issues they face.


Bradbury ... was an avid supporter of public libraries. In a 2010 interview with the Paris Review, he said that he’s "completely library educated." 

Indeed, much like the current DIY learning movement, Bradbury eschewed formal higher education, particularly for writers, in favor of a self-directed process of unbiased, library-centered discovery.

The Declaration for the Right to Libraries is the cornerstone document of ALA President Barbara Stripling’s presidential initiative, Libraries Change Lives, which is designed to build the public will and sustained support for America’s right to libraries of all types – academic, special, school, and public.
In the next year, libraries of all types will hold signing ceremonies, during which community members can visibly declare their right to have vibrant libraries in their community.  The signing ceremony is intended to serve as the launching point for continued and vibrant community engagement to:
  • Increase public and media awareness about the critical role of libraries in communities around the  country
  • Inspire ongoing conversations about the role of the library in the community
  • Cultivate a network of community allies and advocates for the library
  • Position the library as a trusted convener to help in the response to community issues



If any of these sound interesting or if you have other talents to offer, please give your local library a call.
  1. Internet docents will assist library users with connecting to the Internet, basic operations of the graphical browser used by the library (often Netscape), help locate specific sites/URLs that the user wants to visit, make suggestions for those curious about the net. Some basic computer maintenance may be involved as well.
  2. Repair books to extend the lives of the libraries’ resources.
  3. Shelving books is pretty much self explanatory.
  4. Delivering books to seniors and housebound persons. Operation Homebound and similar projects need volunteers to help with the delivery of books, magazines, large print, and tapes to persons of all ages who are ill or physically disabled or who cannot get to the library. This work may include the matching of appropriate books for the homebound person and getting to know that person.
  5. Shelf Reading where someone adopts a shelf section and basically keeps it in order. Choose your favorite subject.
  6. Video Tape checker/rewinder – someone has to do it!
  7. Storyteller for the children’s section of most all libraries.
  8. Bookwasher is what they call those, armed with paper towel and squirt bottle, who clean off the covers of books.
  9. Friends of the Library is an organization always looking for help with booksales and planning special events.
  10. Artists are always in demand to create posters for special events, sign and graphics for the library.
  11. Clerical work may not be glamorous but its necessary.
  12. Flash! Sue Rebro of the Moline (Illinois) Public Library doubled our list with the following additions:
  13. Index the obituaries from your local paper.
  14. Cut out items for story hours.
  15. Clean up and weed the area around the library.
  16. Help inventory the library collection.
  17. Assemble new library card packets.
  18. Offer to organize a book discussion group.
  19. Keep the tax forms in order at tax time.
  20. Send for the free material available from each state’s travel bureau.
  21. Set up a drive to encourage travelers to bring back phone books (not stolen) from their travels.
  22. Dust the computer screens and keyboards.
  23. Help with mailing, writing, collating, and stamping the newsletter.
  24. Call your local librarian for the remaining 77 ways you can help your library.


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