National Library Week

National Library Week 2023 — April 23-29 — is celebrating with the theme “There’s More to the Story.” Libraries are full of stories in a variety of formats from picture books to large print, audiobooks to ebooks, and more.

But before we go any further, first a hat. It is a wonderful fascinator made from books. Vivian named it Dewey, after the Dewey Decimal System.

Dewey Hattingdon. ©Vivian J Grant.

Now, a few of the major contributions made by libraries to the benefit of mankind.

1. Libraries maintain history and truth

Since the ancient Roman Empire, libraries had a purpose to store different kinds of information, such as historical, literary, musical, military documents. Even though in the past 2,000 years many changes, and innovation have occurred, libraries have kept their main purpose to provide visitors with the information they are looking for and be certain about giving the truth. 

2. Libraries offer free educational resources

Public libraries play an important role in supporting education and literacy. They provide countless resources, such as educational materials, trainings, courses, scientific publications, etc. to visitors. Public libraries provide their services not only face-to-face, but some of them have also integrated e-learning. Furthermore, several published studies confirmed that public libraries had a tremendous importance in every community by providing various services for educational purposes.

3. Libraries help build communities

People come to libraries not only looking for information, but also, for finding themselves and their communities. Mothers join baby story-times clubs, elderly people attend events and find ways to connect with people. While teenagers meet up in libraries with their study groups for teambuilding or school projects and readers discuss current events in the periodical’s rooms.

Additionally, libraries serve as community centers for diverse populations by supporting non-English speakers to help them integrate into the community.

Furthermore, for artists and art enthusiasts, public libraries can provide a place to arrange exhibitions and to promote themselves. 

4. Libraries are transparent with the services they provide

Privacy is a growing concern in society these days. Data tracking systems that collect, compare and share information might affect consumers’ trust. However, all the services provided in public libraries are focused on consumers and not solely on revenue. That is why libraries do not track your reading history or which trainings you went to. It is simply not in the field of their interest.

    5. Libraries contribute to increasing economy

    Because libraries are free to use for patrons, not so many people consider the role they play in the economy. Public libraries provide access to information about business planning, market research and finance opportunities for entrepreneurs who are looking for spaces to network, conduct research, use technology, and arrange meetings. Even though job requirements are changing fast, it is possible to upskill the workforce without spending enormous amounts of money. Technology in libraries can be innovative, offering access to expensive tolls, training and skills that otherwise would not be available for everyone.

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    Hattingdon & Co in Hattingdon's signature brown.

    “A Hatful of Smiles”