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  • Writer's pictureElana Duffy

Libraries: More than just books... stories

When was the last time you went to the library? Hopefully recently, and if not you are missing out! Big or small, urban or rural, five stories or one floor – no matter what, libraries are safe spaces that welcome all. What’s more, they are far more than just a place that holds books. They do many different things for many people with many stories to share.

Have you ever wandered into your local library without a direction? Have you gone into the fiction section just to check out the titles on the spines and open one up? Perhaps you take your little one into the children’s room to boost their imagination, enhance their empathy, or increase their understanding of the great big world. Or maybe you head to the reference desk to ask your friendly librarian a question who knows the answer, knows where to direct you, or is happy to help you find it using all the resources at hand.

As a child, I remember going to the local library for book clubs. Each week we’d show up with our grown-up and talk about the assigned book. In that small act of ‘showing up’, we heard different voices, listened to other’s opinions, heard different accents. Regardless of our backgrounds, we came together to discuss this one specific story.

Another new feature is some city libraries have created ‘human libraries’. Here, people become the ‘books’. ‘Readers’ sign up to select their ‘book’, get to ask respectful questions while ‘books’ share their stories and always reserve the right to slam their covers shut early if necessary. ‘Readers’ and ‘books’ come together to teach and to learn and all are a little more knowledgeable as they walk out of the library doors. Not all libraries are doing this, but chances are you can ask yours to start!

So what can we learn not just in, but from the library?

Enter at your own risk. The library is open to all, filled with knowledge and provides an array of services. Every section holds wisdom of a different kind and everyone is welcome. Notices are available for yoga classes, free movies or select state and federal services. You may wind up rubbing elbows with people you never before would have and perhaps you even have the opportunity to speak to and learn from each other. Whether you agree with them all or not, all books have a space on the library shelves and you have the right to choose whether or not to read them. Once you choose to step inside and open your mind to the possibilities housed here – you are never again the same.

Come back anytime. Although the physical library has to have hours of operation, many larger libraries provide online access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your library card can open doors of opportunities with a few clicks. You are able to enter and return whenever you choose. Then come in for a quick visit to pick up a book you placed on hold or come in multiple times a month to chat, learn, listen, and explore. Keep yourself open to learning, regardless of time or task.

Use your resources. Many of us never truly avail ourselves to all of the services available. Free classes, access to online lending libraries, chatting with historians, open to the public lectures, computers, children’s story hours, patent and trademark research centers, job help, homework assistance and even help with your taxes are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to library resources. Talented librarians and volunteers can reference book titles, authors or data off the tops of their heads or with a quick click of their fingers. Those who work/volunteer at the library serve the public, educate people and work to provide access for all guests. Every project you have has resources available you probably aren’t using. Seek them out and make them work for you.

Working with a content creation company like ours is much like wandering through the doors of your local library. Enter as often as you like, avail yourself to our resources, chat with one of our experts or go directly to the source and ask for our help – our goal is to help guide you towards your own success. We help take human libraries and put the knowledge into print for generations to share.

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