Libraries are easy to love. After all, where else can you find everything from your great grandmother’s marriage announcement to a bestselling book to getting help with a resume or job search or a slew of programs for kids? Librarians help families trim their budgets, preserve memories and give guidance on preparing taxes. But this month is about Library Lovers.
So here are just a few reasons we love our patrons:
Giggles: There’s no better music to our ears than the sound of children giggling and wiggling to a song during storytime. There are dozens of programs every week for babies to preschoolers. We love seeing the strollers coming, children learning and parents connecting.
Courage and creativity: We’ve helped patrons harboring big ideas as they research new businesses. We love seeing the courage and creativity it takes to launch anything from a cottage industry to a franchise opportunity. Whether they are learning the how-to or studying demographics, it is a pleasure to be part of the process.
Insight and discovery: We are honored to witness the proverbial light bulbs go off when a patron uncovers a family story three generations old. Our shelves are packed with personal stories in newspapers and city directories, vintage photographs and census records. Connecting the dots between centuries and discovering new family lore makes our day.
Building confidence: Mastering a skill provides a huge boost in confidence. We love seeing students of all ages who are behind in school master their subject through Tutor.com or other online resources. We’ve seen patrons learn languages and software programs that help them launch new careers. Knowing that we helped a patron study for their GRE or LSAT makes our day.
The list of reasons we love our patrons is long. Sometimes it’s as simple as seeing someone use our Internet to apply for a job or just connect with a long-lost friend through Facebook. Sometimes it’s the conversation over the desk when they return a book that had a big impact on them. It’s the smile we get after the Children’s Festival of Reading or the sense of accomplishment they share when they meet their reading goals.
February is National Library Lovers’ Month. We’re pleased to have so many people who love our library, and we want to return that love ten-fold.
Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library