In this digital age when we expect everything to be delivered immediately and directly to our tablets, e-readers and smart phones, the library is often left in the dust. Libraries historically were the cornerstone of every community but as more and more doors are shuttered, they will eventually disappear, just like the big-box bookstores.
A big proponent of libraries, Boston’s Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh recently said: “The Boston Public Library is a cornerstone of my vision for the future of Boston, in the sense that it represents access, information, and the potential for lifelong learning and community building.”
I couldn’t agree more.
I volunteer in the Children’s Department of my library. I am not a parent but I strongly believe that today’s children need to be introduced to the virtues of the library system. I get no greater pleasure than watching a child receive his very first library card and then run off into the stacks in pursuit of a treasure.
I was a patron of the library before I became a volunteer (I work remotely and one of my favorite places to work outside of my home is the library. My laptop and I travel there frequently), but not until I was an insider did I learn about how many opportunities even the smallest of libraries offers members of its community. From museum passes and free courses on just about any topic to community events and fundraisers, what better way to teach children about the value of lifelong learning and community building?
This is my town’s library:
Last week, I had the good fortune of visiting one of my favorite places: The New York Public Library. I secretly wished I had my laptop with me so I could find some small corner of the library and soak in my surroundings. Here’s the lobby all decked out for the holidays: