Why We Need Libraries Now More Than Ever
The oldest library on record dates back to the 7th century BC and contained 4,000-year-old artifacts. Public libraries are governmental institutions that allow us free access to tons of resources and information. In the age of smart-phone technology, we have instant access to the world’s information right in our pockets. As a result, we might overlook just how valuable libraries truly are. Let’s talk about why libraries are more important than ever before.
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Libraries Offer Free Education
The sad truth is that your socioeconomic status can directly impact the level and quality of education you receive. Those who can afford private schooling, higher education, and even internet access in your own home, are more privileged over those who can’t. According to a statistic from the National Center for Education Statistics, the employment rate was the highest (87 percent) among those who graduated from college.
Fortunately, public libraries are entirely free and accessible to the public. In addition to books, libraries across the country also contain materials like newspapers, old artifacts, magazines, and internet access. The free wifi and study materials provide an equal opportunity for patrons.
They are still accessible in the Time of COVID-19
Libraries across America are following CDC guidelines to stay safe while also ensuring that everyone can still enjoy the perks of a library. Tons of libraries are shifting to an online model and offering curbside pickup. Others are rolling out limited hours, restricting the number of people who can enter, and setting specific times for elderly or at-risk people to check out books. Call your local library if you have specific questions on their day to day operations during the pandemic.
Libraries are committed to changing and bettering their communities — especially in the COVID Crisis. They are a popular hub for town forums, hosting events to showcase local artists, and providing a free space for entrepreneurs to work — and that’s just to name a few of their functions. It’s understood that the library’s physical location may be closed, so app developers have figured out ways to check out books online. Apps like Libby from OverDrive allow you to check out books from your local library. All you need is your library card.
Libraries are key to a thriving community
While many Americans normally work from home, they have been joined by millions of new folks who are now telecommuting. Whether you are brand new to the world of remote work or if you’ve telecommuted for years, your local public library can help you stay productive and connected during this challenging period.
Don’t have a library card? Not to worry — many public libraries have made it quick and easy to sign up for one online. The massive amount of free resources it provides, mixed with their willingness to be flexible and change with the times, makes libraries one of the most beneficial government organizations. Libraries have given back the public tenfold. It’s become more important than ever to preserve them.