Libraries are fantastic resources for local communities. They bridge gaps between America’s 1% and the other 99% while improving your community’s economy, education level, and social good. The best part is that libraries do all of this while averaging a total cost of just $4 a month!
1) Its not all on the Open Internet.
The content on the open internet is largely free and accessible but what many people don’t realize is that the most successful people and companies don’t rely on the open web to meet their information needs. That’s why its so important to have access to libraries that provide access to content that is far out of reach for a small business owner, student, or individual. This content includes high priced databases and market information that only large companies can afford, research information provided by high priced universities, and complex learning systems for individuals to improve their lives. This content allows individuals to compete with IV League students, Students to access more relevant information to earn better grades, and small business owners to compete with the nation’s largest companies.
2) Community Centers
Communities need spaces that reflect the common culture of that community. Community libraries often have local collections, access to local genealogy materials, and provide safe welcoming spaces for community members to congregate and learn about the community they live in.
3) Libraries Address Many Local Social Issues
Librarians are experts in their communities, and are often the first to recognize a pressing local need, simply because they interact on a daily basis with patrons from all walks of life. This puts libraries and librarians in the best position not only to bring local issues to municipal governments and social agencies, but also to partner with local governments and agencies to address the needs of a community. Many libraries provide “Library Lunches,” As part of the Summer Reading Program. This is an excellent example of how a library recognized a social need, brought it to the attention of the community, and partnered with local agencies to address an important issue—how to provide meals for hundreds of hungry kids while continuing their education throughout the summer.
4) Libraries Instill a Sense of Democracy in Communities
Libraries play an important role in the political and civic life of a community. Programs like the national Banned Books Week help educate communities about the perils of school and community censorship efforts. Other programs like the September Project gather community members and encourage them to talk about issues of freedom, justice, and democracy. Finally, for many people, the library is an important educational institution where they can unbiased information about local elections, register to vote, and attend candidate forums to learn about their local politicians. Libraries are pivotal in encouraging informed political involvement. By providing these services, libraries help citizens learn how to become advocates for themselves and their communities.
5) Libraries provide important business resources, especially for small local businesses.
With the recent collapse of many local economies as well as big corporations, it has become more widely acknowledged that small businesses provide most of the new jobs in our current economy. Libraries have a long history of serving local entrepreneurs and businesses. But, some are taking their business services to a new level. There are several library initiatives that provide business resources, but also a state-of-the-art conference rooms, meeting spaces, on the ground training from full-time librarians, and many workshops and programs about improving small business and entrepreneurship as well as providing a wealth of resources for many local startups.
If you believe libraries are one of the most important investments in a community, sign the pledge to vote for libraries here today.
For even more reasons to vote for your library, here are 23 reasons libraries are important.