Join the wonderful circle of knowledge at your library
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Every April, libraries all across America celebrate National Library Week to remind citizens that libraries are vibrant and active community centers. As Colorado Mountain College Librarian Mindy White pointed out in her article, libraries offer a depth of resources, expertise and personal service that snuff out the perception that they are going the way of the dinosaur thanks to the Internet. While different types of libraries have different missions, we share the common goal of ensuring that information remains free and accessible to all.
This year’s National Library Week theme is “Join the circle of knowledge @ your library.” For me, the idea of a “circle” of knowledge lends itself nicely to the library as community center. Libraries have long served as social outlets and places for civic discourse as well as education, exploration and fun. In the past year, two of our branches have added murals to their facilities providing outlets for community art. More recently, Garfield County Libraries have offered programs ranging from Celtic guitarist Jerry Barlow, to a discussion on Buddhism, to Pysanky egg decorating, to Guitar Hero competitions for teens. These events bring together diverse audiences, and allow users to expand their knowledge and life experiences.
Circles also apply to the most basic of library functions. Books continually circulate through many hands and impact lives in different ways. Carbondale’s One Book, One Community program, which featured Greg Mortonsen’s “Three Cups of Tea” this past November, allowed readers a glimpse inside another culture, and provided local citizens the impetus to raise money to impact lives on the other side of the world. In that instance, the circle became hands reaching out to help others, and it was made possible because of a book. I’m still hearing about area groups reading this book, and I believe the echo of its impact will resonate in the valley for a long time.
I hope you will take time this month to visit your local library and join the circle. Check us out at http://www.garfieldlibraries.org to find a branch near you.
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