Libraries Are For Lovers

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National Library Lovers’ Month

For those of us at the iSchool, every month is National Library Lovers’ Month. Whether we were inspired down this path by a love for information or a love for providing great service to our communities, we each harbor a deep admiration for the ideals of librarianship that lie at the heart of our studies. That is, to ensure that everyone has equitable and inclusive access to information and a space in which to enjoy it.

Here are 5 things to LOVE about libraries:

  1. Access to TV shows and movies.
    Several public libraries partner with library vendors Kanopy and Hoopla to provide patrons with free movie streaming, from Hitchcock to the latest Oscar-nominated films. For those of us who hung onto some kind of device that plays DVDs, you can still pick those up as well or hang around and browse as in the olden days of Blockbuster (r.i.p.).
  2. Game night!
    As new, interactive modes for stories and information, games belong in libraries. Library game nights, whether for all ages or specific age groups, provide a safe space to try the latest games for free. The ALA’s Games & Gaming Round Table website hosts a frequently-updated list of new game recommendations as well as play-throughs to show you the ropes before you host one of your own.
  3. Exciting eBooks and audiobooks.
    Haaaave you met your new best friend, Libby? Thousands of library users already have. You can automatically check out the next issue of your favorite magazines, listen to celebrities read their memoirs, and see all your online checkouts in a free, easy-to-use app.
  4. Events for all ages and interests.
    Book clubs, concert series, lectures, art galleries– so much is happening at our libraries, including beloved staples like story time! Grab a paper copy of the calendar at your local library or check them out online.
  5. A safe, quiet place to belong.
    Need I say more?

Quote that reads Libraries encourage the heart, from Michael Stephens's book The Heart of Librarianship. A book with a red heart growing out of it is featured beneath the words.Libraries are doing so much more than its usual line of programming too. As my fellow ALASC blogger Samantha Harteau already pointed out, libraries of things are on the rise, including the Noise Closet at the Chattanooga Public Library. Makerspaces like the one at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library in midtown Memphis are also making content creators out of patrons.

There is so much to love about our libraries. The best part is that we don’t have to wait to graduate to join our libraries in their missions to help the community.

So, let’s show our libraries a little extra love this month. Send a letter to your Library Board of Trustees about how good your branch is doing. Tell the reference staff how great they’re doing next time you notice them giving exceptional service. If you have, teach, or know kids, put together a craft to give to their librarians during their next visit. Your libraries will love you back.

See you around the discussion boards,