Libraries and Communities

Libraries provide free resources for everyone in a community to use.

Public libraries are centers of knowledge that are open to everyone. Libraries contain more than just books, magazines, and newspapers. They also have multimedia content like ebooks, audiobooks, and online journals. They even have music and movies. People visiting the library have access to free Wi-Fi and computers. They can even get help finding a job. But more than that, libraries today have important social roles in our communities. 

Libraries offer friendly environments where people can meet for book clubs, reading groups or other discussions, and even for after-school activities. They also provide safe spaces for people during times of crisis. For example, in 2014 Ferguson, Missouri was at the center of protests resulting from an unpopular legal decision. Some of the protests turned violent. Many businesses and organizations in the area shut down for some days after the protests started. This included Ferguson-area schools. However, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library remained open. It offered activities, school lessons, and a safe environment for children dealing with unexpected school closings.  

Libraries can help support literacy for the homeless. Families living in shelters may not have access to books or other reading materials. Libraries provide free reading resources and support. This may be especially helpful for struggling families. 

Public libraries provide communities with central meeting locations. This may include political, cultural, or social events and activities. Classmates and other groups can meet at libraries to work together on projects and attend lectures. They can also participate in discussions or learn about local matters. Libraries are also great places for friends to meet up before attending other activities. 

What Do You Think? What activities do you enjoy doing at your local library? 

Photo Credit: McGraw Hill