10 Ways You Can Show Your Favorite Library Some Love
With Valentine’s Day on our radar, we are all looking forward to finding ways to show those we care about some love. We’re sure to remember our significant other, our family members, or a group of our best pals, but have you ever thought about showing your local library some love?
These essential institutions are incredible places that play many different types of roles for people in the community. Library staff works tirelessly to educate, support, and guide patrons that walk through the door without asking for recognition. However, chocolates and flowers aren’t the way to go (although, feel free to gift some to your favorite library staff members if you’d like!) Instead, there are numerous other ways to show your favorite library some love for. We’ll share ten of our favorites.
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Become a ‘Friend of the Library’
At public libraries, Friends of the Library groups play a big part in helping the library with fundraising efforts. Those that join become a part of a committee in charge of organizing fundraising events, coordinating volunteers, organizing staff appreciation programs, and advocating for the library.
Attend Library Programs
Library programs were designed specifically for those in the community to enjoy. These are free events that offer opportunities to try new activities, explore passions, and get to know others in the community. Show staff that you appreciate their efforts and join in on events that interest you.
Advocate for Your Library
There is no one better suited to speak up for libraries than people who use them and love them. Libraries face many challenges these days, from budget cuts to naysayers. Attend community board meetings, tell stakeholders why the library matters, vote on behalf of your library, gather a group of supporters, and organize your community to take action when your library needs support. Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more.
Buy Books on Their Wishlist
Books and other supplies are often needed at the library. You can help them grow the collection by asking the library if they have any materials on their wishlist, like a popular book series that is always being checked out or a magazine subscription that other patrons will enjoy.
Donate Needed Supplies
Check in with your library to see if they need any supplies. We may not always have the extra finances to support regular donations but you may find that you have some of the items that libraries need. For example, a printer we aren’t using, art supplies we haven’t touched, or even extra tubs of disinfecting wipes we’ve overstocked on. It never hurts to ask.
Offer Your Skills
Are you great at navigating computer programs, know how to play instruments, or are you skilled at public speaking? These, along with many other skills, can be used to lead library programs or contribute to lectures. Ask your librarian if your talents would be useful in their programming plans. Whether you have lots of time on your hands or can only commit to a one-time event, the library will likely feel the impact of your efforts. This might look like playing the guitar to accompany the songs in storytime, teaching a coding class, helping the librarians set up a community garden, graphic design, and so much more.
Ask If They Need a Volunteer
Ask if your library is accepting volunteers. Often extra helping hands can help days at the library run smoothly for the staff. You may be shelving books, organizing educational materials, or running programs. Often volunteers are especially appreciated in small libraries where librarians may have many duties. However your volunteer time is allocated while you’re there, know you are making a difference for the library and staff.
Get Your Friends and Family to Use the Library
Why keep all of the fun to yourself? If your friends and family aren’t already using the library, participating in events, or supporting the library, invite them along and let them see how great the library is. If you have children invite their friends and caregivers to your favorite storytime. Spread the word about library services and programs that you love. Show them around your favorite reading corners. Ask them to dedicate some volunteer time alongside you. If they are already committed library users ask them to join you in advocating for their library.
Call Your Local Representatives
You may have heard this suggestion quite a few times, but it truly makes a difference for your library. Call or write to your local representatives and let them know how important the library is to you and the community. Ask them to increase funding and support the library on behalf of the people they serve. Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more.
Use Your Library Card
Finally, use your library card! This may seem obvious but can be forgotten when you’re busy trying to volunteer and advocate for it. Remember that the library and its services are there for you and are meant to be enjoyed. Request books you’re dying to read, ask the librarian questions, and go home with your own stack of reading materials. Not only does this add some happiness to your life, but it also shows others that the library is worthy of the funding and resources it receives each year.
Have you come up with some creative ways to show the library some love? Do you have upcoming plans to do so? Share them with us in the comments below!
Do you want to make an even bigger impact? Express your appreciation for libraries at the national level. Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more.