Our country is made up of individual communities, each with its own needs that can be as unique as the communities themselves. In the middle on all of these challenges, often in the very heart of our community, is a solution, a trusted institution that makes it its business to understand our needs: the library.
Libraries listen and respond to meet community needs. Libraries provide the space for diverse groups to come together for a common purpose. Librarians work with everyone; elected officials, small-business owners, students, seniors and the public at large to discover what their communities’ needs are and to meet them.
The library helps foster all types of communities. We see this in our library firsthand, in ways big and small. Story time, where youth hear the best book read by a librarian; employment-related individuals are here to help those out of work find jobs; teens meet up to collaborate on projects like a poetry slam, and even knitters sit in the front parlor during the winter to reflect on the activities of the day or show new patterns. The library is here for everyone.
Service to the community has always been the focus of the library. While this aspect has never changed, libraries have grown and evolved in how they provide for the needs of every member of this community, along with the increasing wave of technology.
The week of April 14-20, everyone from schools, campuses, and communities across this great country will celebrate National Library Week. It is a time to remember that the needs of our community matter to one of our most important institutions: our library.
Let the North Adams community and the surrounding communities know what the library means to you. Write a letter to the editor with your thoughts on what our library means to you. Who needs libraries? We do! Communities matter!
The writer is North Adams public library director.