As Libraries go back longer hours and we head into next year’s budget, lets make sure our libraries stay healthy for another year. The reason is simple: Patrons want more open hours at the library.
More residents are using the public library for many different reasons. While at a casual glance the action on adding money to our libraries could be interpreted as ignoring the economic hardship taxpayers face, a more accurate response is that as times get tough and money gets tight, residents are using their libraries more and more. And that’s a good thing. So if there is a little extra money we should think of give to the library that only gives back to the residents.
Just as we don’t believe newspapers will disappear, we don’t think books will, either. But as the cost of books increase and bookstores close, libraries become even more vital. Reading a good book brings a lot of satisfaction, something that’s hard to duplicate.
We’ve heard town officials question the usefulness of a library in recent years or a book in today’s digital age. We think they’re totally off base. But libraries aren’t stuck in the 19th century; with audio books for the commuter, downloadable books for e-readers and computers, technology plays a major role in their offerings these days, meeting the needs of both the tech-savvy and those who want to hold a book in their hands.
Think back. How many of us introduced our children to a love of reading when they were toddlers, sitting with them at library story time sessions, then, heading home with lots of picture books? That book is comfort, when snuggling at bedtime to bond or escaping the stress of the day is better with a book than a device.
These days, most of us can’t afford to spend money on entertainment. But the numerous free programs offered at our public libraries ranging from movies to lectures to art shows give us options to get out of the house, spend time with others, and maybe learn something in the process. Often with a snack thrown in.
And when hometown entertainment just won’t do, most libraries offer free or reduced admission passes to museums in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Remember where people gather when the power goes out in winter storms? At the library. Kind of a definition of “community,” isn’t it?
We’d hate to see any of this go away. A library is one place where we do get our money’s worth. And what we’re finding is that, as money gets tight, we turn to our local library more and more. Pay one a visit today.