If you’ve read my About Me or my very first blog post, Putting the Merry in Merry Momma, you know that I have a master’s degree in Library & Information Science. Even though my life took a significantly different path than the one I envisioned for myself, there will always be a special place in my heart for libraries, especially public libraries. I am very passionate about the good that they do for individuals, families, and communities as a whole, and that will never change!
This week is National Library Week, so I’m going to share some of that passion with you today! Today’s post is a list of 25 Reasons to Love Your Public Library. I could make a much longer list of ALL the benefits that a public library has to offer you, but I’ve restrained myself and condensed it to my top 25. Hopefully you have even more you can add!
25 Reasons to Love Your Public Library
- It’s FREE!
- It’s good for the economy.
New people (especially young families) and businesses are attracted to communities with strong libraries, and public libraries are often valuable partners in economic development initiatives.
- Story hours
Where else can your kids read stories, make crafts, sing songs, get a treat or snack, and spend special quality time with you ALL FOR FREE?
- Going to the library fosters a love of reading in your kids.
Why is this important? Read about it here.
Certified librarians are trained in information literacy, are a source of expert help, are knowledgeable about new and bestselling books, know how to recommend your next great read, and are passionate about what they do!
- Free DVD rentals
Public libraries provide access to databases, news archives, physical materials, and trained staff to assist you in any of your academic, professional, or personal research needs.
- Free classes
Many libraries offer classes on a wide variety of topics. Common ones include computer skills, job seeking, and resume building, but I know of libraries who have offered classes in genealogy, knitting, and Zumba!
- Remote access
Access ebooks and audiobooks from the convenience of your own home!
- Summer Reading Programs
I am wildly passionate about the benefits of Summer Reading Programs. I could write an entire post just on that subject, and I probably will, so look out for that as we approach the summer months!
- Supports childhood development
Public libraries are a valuable partner for parents and caregivers as they invest in their child’s mental and social development. They offer a vast array of materials on a wide variety of subjects to help kids learn about themselves and the world around them, and they offer an opportunity to socialize with other children and adults.
- It’s a social opportunity.
The library is a free place to get out of the house, be amongst other humans, and have adult conversations! I’ve witnessed firsthand what a blessing this can be for moms. During my stint as an assistant in a children’s department, I would often watch the SAHMs gather outside the playroom while their kids were in storytime. I was never sure which group enjoyed themselves more on those mornings, the kids or the moms!
- It is a source of information on a wealth of subjects, more than you could afford to accumulate yourself.
- Free computer access
Public library computers provide free access for patrons to check email, apply for jobs, conduct research, or any number of tasks that are important to their lives and wellbeing. This access is especially valuable to those who cannot afford a computer or Internet access at home.
- Printing, copying, and faxing
This is the one thing on this list that’s probably not free, but it’s still nice to have when you don’t have the resources at home or yours are out of commission.
- Quiet space & study areas
- Promotes lifelong learning
With a healthy sense of curiosity and a library card, you never have to stop learning new things!
- Safe space for youth
Public libraries are a safe haven for many teenagers who have nowhere else to go, can’t afford to go anywhere else, or don’t feel accepted anywhere else. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, lives have been transformed because a kid or teenager started hanging out at the library. Having been on the inside, I know the kind of problems being a hangout spot can lead to, but it’s so worth it if it provides a safe space that’s off the streets and out of trouble.
- Cheap books at their used book sales
I’ve found some awesome books for .25 or less at library book sales!
- Magazines & Newspapers
It’s a free source of entertainment and a way to keep up with news and trends.
- The ability to browse and stumble upon your next great read.
I love the serendipity of wandering through the stacks and finding a gem. Granted, that doesn’t happen much anymore now that I have Aidan and no longer have the luxury of taking my time, but one of these days I’ll be able to enjoy that experience again!
- Guest lecturers, classes, programs, etc.
Public libraries offer many opportunities for self-education and enrichment, regardless of your age, income, or social status!
- Tutoring & homework help
- Specialty collections
Public libraries often have special collections that reflect the unique character and interests of their communities. Some such collections that I know of are collections of cake pans, puzzles, and art that you can check out.
- It offers a wonderful source of family bonding time.
Bring your kids to the library and read together, work on puzzles, put on puppet shows, attend family movie nights or game nights, attend programs together – whatever your particular library offers, take advantage of the opportunity to spend quality time together as a family!
Tell me what you think! Are you a library lover like me? If not, I hope this list convinces you to reconsider! If so, share with us! What is your favorite thing about your public library?
Already love your library? Show it off!
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- 15 Compelling Reasons to Encourage Your Kids to Read
- 5 Reasons You Should Read Every Day
- Fantastic Nonfiction You’ll Love This Summer
- My Favorite Recent Reads for Winter