Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's National Library Week!

This year's theme for National Library Week is "Communities Thrive @ Your Library." That's certainly true at my library. I think of all the mini-communities we have that meet within our doors: adult and children's book clubs, viewers of independent films, home school groups, Girl Scouts, moms, teens, volunteers. All of us are part of the larger community, but the library has helped us find people with similar interests.

In the digital age, the library is so much more than just books. I have mixed feelings about technology. I dislike technology that is isolating, putting one more machine in between myself and real people. I hate calling a customer service number, for example, and pushing button after button in search of a live person. On the other hand, technology that unites us makes me happy: social networking, blogging, Skype. I love that we now have the ability to share ideas, information, photos and even real-time video with people halfway across the world.

For many people the library is the only place they have access to these technologies. Not to mention the infinite access to information. Want to learn to play banjo or knit or set up your own website? Not only do we have a book for you, but we can show you how to view an instructional video online. Need more? We've got a DVD you can borrow. I love finding out how people were helped by resources we've shown them, whether they're as traditional as books or something more twenty-first century.

If you haven't visited your library recently, this is the week to do it.