Sunday, February 6, 2011

February is Library Lovers Month

This is a photo I took in 2009 when children's songwriter Eric Herman visited the local library here. The event was part of the summer reading program. The kids had a great time!

Love is definitely in the air this month. Not only is Valentine's Day right around the corner, February is also Library Lovers Month, a month-long celebration of libraries -- school, public and private. It's a time to recognize the value of libraries and work to ensure they continue to serve everyone.

Even with the availability of books and research materials on the Internet, libraries perform an important public service. Yet, they are definitely in need of our help and support. The Friends and Foundations of California Libraries puts it this way:  

"Libraries are private, non-profit organizations that depend on the support of individuals corporations, and foundations to help ensure that libraries remain free to the millions of people who visit in person or via the web each year. While government funding supports the basic operations of many of our nation's libraries, there are still many more libraries that depend on contributions from private sources."

By going to their website, you can learn of a variety of ways in which you can help in your own hometown. Many of the suggestions don't require a lot of time, money or resources, but each step you take will help. Some ideas are to donate your time or expertise, donate a used book for your local Friends of the Library book sale, give a friend of relative a membership gift, offer to help with programs or fundraising events, become a literacy tutor, help shelve books, read stories to children and support your library at election time.

I'm a board member of the library here where I live. Of all the boards I volunteer with, the library is probably the most rewarding. As a reader and writer myself, any way I can promote books is an opportunity I don't want to pass up.

Please take the time to help at your own community library. You'll be glad you did!

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