The Value of Libraries- A List

When people think of libraries, their mind probably drifts immediately to books. It’s true; at the core of a library is its bookshelves, and the books it contains within them. However, libraries provide far more to their communities than a vast selection of novels and encyclopedias. Here’s a list of just some of the many things public libraries offer here in the United States.

  • Warmth and/or Air Conditioning (by season), drinking water, bathrooms

My area doesn’t have a large homeless population, but we do have a few homeless friends. The library keeps them off the streets, and in a warm environment where they have access to clean, running water, heat/air conditioning, bathrooms for hygiene, and lots of entertainment to keep them busy until they find employment to help them earn a salary to get back on their feet again!

  • citizenship classes and books

Trying to become a citizen of the United States? The library can help!

  • ESL classes
  • foreign language conversation groups
  • computer classes for seniors
  • magazines
  • movies
  • music- free, legal downloadable music from the library prevents piracy!
  • e-books
  • audiobooks (for the blind and for the sighted)
  • travel guides
  • children’s storytimes- promoted child literacy
  • STEM programs- 3D printing, coding/computer programming…for children, teens and adults
  • makerspaces
  • access to opposing viewpoints
  • knowledgable librarians that can help you decode fact from fiction- fake news? not when you consult a librarian and his/her arsenal of research databases!
  • help for the unemployed- job searching, resumes, etc.
  • a family
  • access to research materials, online and in print
  • newspapers
  • museum passes- encourages cultural literacy, empathy
  • resources for learning a foreign language
  • books on a variety of topics: cancer prevention, recipes for diabetics, baby names, history, confidence, mental health, religion/spirituality, exercise, environmental concerns….
  • community programs/events for all ages: dancing, music, movies, karate, cooking/baking, art….anything a librarian or teacher can dream up!

 

This list will never be complete. Libraries evolve as technology evolves. I frequently am asked the question, “do you think people don’t need libraries anymore because of the internet?” My answer is always, “No!” People always will need libraries and information professionals. Technology has evolved rapidly- true. The internet gives us access to a whole new world of information that could never fit in a little building- true. But all of this is only a change in HOW we access information. People still need information, and it is a library’s job to protect a patron’s privacy and right to that information. In addition, the internet is full of false information. People need us more than ever to help them decipher it.

When 3D printers came to the market, we bought them, we learned how to use them, and we began teaching the public. E-readers? No problem! We’ve armed ourselves with databases of e-books and audiobooks for our patrons, and set up a program where patrons can come learn how to use their new devices. Technology is a library’s friend, never its enemy.

If a library has offered you any kind of assistance, given you solace or hope when you felt like you were in despair, I would love to hear your stories in the comments below! Tell me what my list missed, and help this list grow with the millions of ways libraries benefit our communities.

Battle of the Sequel: Cinder vs Scarlet

It’s a battle of epic proportions. Two novels. One winner. Which will survive the grueling tests? Which will emerge victorious?  *Dramatic music now plays*

Well, maybe not epic proportions. But Cinder and Scarlet are at least somewhat out of this world, if you know what I mean. OK, enough with the bad puns.

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Both images are from Goodreads.

My opinion: I preferred the second book in the series, Scarlet, to be much better than the first book, Cinder.

Arguments:
1. Cinder spent more time setting up than getting to the action, a point you’ve probably heard me say only about five different times. Scarlet had the PERFECT opening. You were dropped right into the real plot and action from page 1. I already knew I would love it.

2. Cinder is cool, but I liked seeing her more as a secondary character in the second book. It gave her more of a status (hey there’s that kick-ass mechanic cyborg girl from Book 1 on the run! Awesome!), somehow, seeing things through the eyes of someone other than Cinder. It was like reading about a familiar friend.

3. Scarlet’s story is frankly more eventful, but less sci-fi-esque than Cinder. This could be a good or bad thing depending on how you see it.

4. Scarlet had cooler characters; Thorne tops my list of favorite book characters ever. He is one of the few characters that actually made me laugh out loud. Oh, and there’s our mysterious Wolf. (Scarlet is based off of Little Red Riding Hood)

5. This point does not effect my opinion, but I would say Cinder’s cover is more intriguing than Scarlet’s. Cinder’s is an x-ray view into Cinder’s android/human foot and Scarlet’s is… A cape and an elbow?

However, don’t disregard Cinder. I rated it very highly, especially when it came to the second half of the novel! Lots of people try and remake fairy tales, but nobody has done it like Marissa Meyer.

Remember, you must read Cinder before you get to Scarlet! No skipping!! On to Cress, Book #3!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Can we dwell on this book’s ADORABLE cover and spine? My spur-of-the-moment photos take away from the gorgeousness that is this book. As I’ve mentioned before. I am a sucker for cool, bright or pretty covers. Now, the content. My … Continue reading

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

                                      (Photo is from Goodreads)            “What does it take to survive aboard a spaceship fueled by lies?” Synopsis: Amy has a choice; she can be frozen and join her parents aboard a ship embarking on a three-hundred-year long voyage … Continue reading