It seems to me that libraries form an intricate tapestry of learning, research, and reading that allows anyone who so chooses to weave together their own understanding of the world, and their literacy needs and to make opportunities for themselves. Inside those library doors awaits a myriad of materials that can propel any of us to seek to fulfill our loftiest dreams and to build on our strengths and talents.
To enter a library, you do not need to have a grand resume, or lots of titles after your name. Your pedigree does not need to be of a certain ilk, and special preparation is not required. You are welcome to come in from the heat and read through your favorite magazines and newspapers; look for a recipe; make copies; attend a program; check out books; find out what’s new and available; or sit and dream for a while.
Each day the staff of this Library System works with you in mind. Staff are available to recommend the next best read; tell you about what is trending in the world of books; provide computer assistance; get you started on updating your resume; apply for a job online; and can assist you with other online applications. At the Central Library, assistance is now available to meet many social services needs; just ask at the Information Desk. ESL classes are presented. GED classes and testing are available, and the 2023 Summer Reading Program is in full swing. Also, ask about “1, 000 Books Before Kindergarten,” and get your small children on the road to reading success.
The thing that truly weaves this tapestry of opportunity together is the library card. It should be held with high esteem as the one card that keeps on giving. It gives all of us a chance to revisit the library as a fun and familiar place of our childhood where we spent numerous summer days attending storytime programs. Or, perhaps as a teenager or college student, you studied at the library, going there to complete your homework. Know that it does not have to have ended at that stage in life. All are welcome and at any age. The spaces have changed a bit, but not everything.
There is still a fun fact: libraries remain fairly “quiet” places. They are a bit more social in nature these days because they have become community gathering spots. We’ve discovered that change has led to more opportunities to share ideas and connect with partnership opportunities.
You are the customer. You are why we exist. We look forward to seeing you any time you walk through the doors of any of the libraries. We spend a lot of time here, and we do it out of service, and out of our gratitude to you for making it worthwhile. Please get out that library card, and come inside!
--Gayle H. Holloman