Libraries are Important

My very first volunteering experience was in a library which led to my first job being in a library. The library is like a second home. Among the books I am my most calm and happy. Because of this, I consider myself a lover of literature and safe public spaces for people from all walks of life to come together and enjoy a little piece of the community. In turn, I fear the proposed President’s budget that would cut funding to The Institute of Museum and Library services. IMLS is the only source of federal money dedicated to libraries.

I was fortunate to see first hand the power libraries have in a community. Contrary to popular belief, libraries aren’t “dying;” their funds are. They are evolving just like the world. Not everything is on the internet and/or credible, which makes people like librarians a source for information that is necessary when you’re completely stuck. According to the American Library Association, they answer almost 6.6 million questions every week.

Libraries not only provide books and information, but a place for children to grow and learn. The librarians I worked with not only encouraged literature but inspired kids. Summer programs help keep their brains stimulated over the break. Over 5 million homes with children in the United States do not have internet access at home. With homework becoming increasingly digitalized, these children have the opportunity to not fall behind and stay on track with their classmates. They’re also a tutoring resource and a place to concentrate with limited distractions. Children from all different schools can come together, play, read and learn from one another, teaching them just how diverse this world truly is.

As college students, we often go to the library to get more done for our classes in a quiet space. But adults can vote early, fill out tax forms and meet new people as well as use the internet to find jobs and take a basic computer class at a local library. And when you don’t want to spend 15 dollars on a book you’re dying to read, you can borrow it for free, along with movies and magazines.  

Though the IMLS budget may seem like a small part of the operation, it is essential. We need libraries; they provide truth in what is apparently an era of alternative facts. Centuries of information are kept in these places, and they are the ultimate form of resistance in the time of misinformation. If we educate ourselves and the growing generation, we can hold ourselves accountable along with the government and their actions.

Librarians are important, skilled and the ultimate search engine. And libraries themselves are centers of education, employment and an important aspect to various communities.

 

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