Celebrate National Friends of Libraries Week!

By Maura Deedy, Library Advisory Specialist at the MBLC

We are thrilled to kick off National Friends of Libraries Week. This is an opportunity for libraries to celebrate the role of the friend. Friends advocate, fundraise, champion, and promote the library in their communities.

In 2018, libraries reported over 59,000 library friends at 308 libraries. These are the people who understand and value the importance of the library in their community. Some friends groups have less than ten people, and others count up to 1000 members! What they have in common is that they are passionate about their local library.

These organizations are usually private 501c3 groups with their own board and officers. A friends group will engage in membership drives, book sales and other activities to help raise funds to supplement the municipal budget. Maybe you’ve been to a local book sale or perused a cart tucked near the circulation desk. Donated books sold by friends groups help provide direct financial support. Friends purchase museum passes, furniture, and sponsor summer reading programs, cook book clubs and more.

Friends can play an important role in advocating for the library to local and state officials. They are able to leverage their voice and knowledge of the library, and help tell the library story to ensure adequate funding is needed. Friends can also play a key role in any local bond or ballot votes, overrides and more. The Massachusetts Friends of Libraries is an association formed to provide leadership on issues of regional, state and national concern to libraries, including encouraging and assisting in the formation and continued growth of Friends of Libraries. They promote awareness on library issues and advocate for state funding to libraries through the Commonwealth. Visit https://libraries.state.ma.us/pages/friends-of-libraries-week-19 to learn more about Friends groups in Massachusetts.

National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century.

Growing in the City

By Lyndsay Forbes, Project Manager and Grant Specialist at the MBLC

There has always been a long-standing interest in gardening and urban agriculture in Somerville but as the densest city in New England, space is at a premium. The City has helped a number of residents develop gardens through their Urban Agriculture ordinance, but many residents live in housing without any green space. While there are several community gardens, the waitlist can take around two years. Some residents have taken matters into their own hands with ‘guerilla gardening’, planting on any unused portion of public space without permission.

Seeing a need in their community, Somerville Public Library realized they could help. Using an LSTA grant from the MBLC, the Library developed a community gardening initiative that would be accessible, affordable, and hands-on for Somerville residents.

In early April, raised beds were installed by Green City Growers on the Library’s lawn in order to provide residents with opportunities to learn and practice gardening. Following the installation, the first gardening workshop was held. This workshop was part of a larger Arbor Day and Urban Gardening Festival at the Library that included kid’s gardening and environmental activities as well as tree planting with the Somerville Urban Forestry Division. The timing of the event also lined up with SustainaVille Week, Somerville’s annual celebration of sustainability and climate action.

The Library had Green City Growers provide several more workshops throughout the season. Topics included when and what to plant as well as how to maintain, fertilize, and harvest successful crops. Working in an actual garden gave people valuable and practical experience with what was growing at that time of year as well as guidance about what to do as the season progressed.

Gardening wasn’t just limited to the Main Library. While the West Branch is currently closed for renovation, Somerville’s East Branch had two container gardening systems. Not only was the branch able to provide gardening opportunities at its own location, but this type of small space demonstrated what you can accomplish even if you didn’t have your own outdoor space. The Library also encouraged gardening at home with their circulating gardening tool kits for youth.

Another key part of the project was showing people what to do with all those vegetables they grew. Knowing how to prepare and cook fresh produce can be a bit overwhelming if it’s something you’re not familiar with. The The Library worked with local caterer JJ Gonson, owner of Cuisine en Locale, who provided a series of cooking workshops focusing on how to prepare and preserve fresh, seasonal produce.

The response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive, both from the public and staff. With their new garden, Somerville Public Library has found a unique way to reach out to their community and grow more than just readers.

Commonwealth Catalog to Undergo Scheduled Upgrade

UPDATE 10/7/2019: The Commonwealth Catalog successfully underwent its upgrade and is now back online. Thank you for your patience while we underwent this process.

Note: This post was updated on October 1, 2019 to reflect a change in date for the Commonwealth Catalog upgrade.

On Friday, October 4, 2019 the Commonwealth Catalog will be taken down for a scheduled upgrade. The new version will bring improvements to help users find books and materials they want more easily and more efficiently. Though we hope the upgrade will take less than a day, it may take up to three. The Commonwealth Catalog will be unavailable to patrons and staff during this time.

What’s Coming with the Upgrade?

Increased Security and Patron Privacy: The system will now use “tokens” instead of internet cookies, which means your activities and searches cannot be tracked by cookie trails.

More efficient searches: Searches will be broader, with related words included for title results, easier search narrowing, and the ability to select multiple different ways to refine your search results.

Faster results: Search results will load faster, and you will no longer see those flickering book jackets. You will be able to navigate around the page as the search continues to bring in live results from the various Massachusetts library systems.

Thank you for your patience while we work on making the Commonwealth Catalog an even greater resource for you and all Massachusetts residents to find the books and materials they want from anywhere in the state.

Please be prepared for the system to be down from 5pm on Friday August 9 until August 11, and check the MBLC Twitter account for updates.

Eat, Drink, and be Merry: Food Programming in Libraries

By Lyndsay Forbes, Project Manager and Grant Specialist at the MBLC

We all know one way to get people to your programs is having food. So, why not offer food programming? At this year’s Urban Libraries Conference, Christopher Morgan and Patty Sussmann from the Newburgh Free Library in Newburgh New York gave a great presentation called “Cooking Classes without a Kitchen”. Here are some key points from it that might have you adding food programming at your library.

Why do food programming in the first place? It’s important to point out that there are a lot of great reasons to offer this besides getting people in the door. Cooking and eating are educational! Reading, math, and science are at the heart of cooking. The typical hands-on nature of this type of offering can appeal to a broad range of learners. Depending on the topic, programs can improve community health—how to make heart healthy recipes for instance. Finally, don’t overlook the social aspect and community building it can do. Food brings people together, something libraries strive to do.

If you’re on board with trying food programming, you might be wondering where to start. Hiring outside presenters is one way to go. There are a lot of possibilities in terms of finding the right ones for your library. A local cookbook author is an obvious choice if you have any. Local caterers or chefs can be a great option as well. Schools and universities might have culinary programs you can tap into for potential presenters or maybe there’s a nearby cooking school. Adult education centers often have cooking instructors. Specialty food or cooking stores could have some skilled staffers who want to share their passion. One often overlooked option is a nutritionist or dietician—you can usually find them at hospitals or grocery stores.

Equipment and facility space are a common concern with offering food programming. You do not need a full-scale kitchen to do this! If you hire outside presenters, they will often bring their own set up. But what if staff wants to do the programming? What should you have? Check out “Kitchen in a box” in the Culinary Literacy Toolkit. Here you’ll find a list of basic kitchen tools for those needing a more flexible set up. This toolkit was developed by the Free Library of Philadelphia and is a must-read for public libraries who are thinking of offering food programming.

Speaking of equipment, programming based on cooking tools is another option you can explore. Think blender, spiralizer, or instant pot! You’re sure to have cookbooks on whatever the latest gadget trend is. Build a program around the tool, demo a recipe, and have relevant cookbooks on display for check out. Maybe even add that equipment to your library of things to let people try it at home.

Still nervous about actually cooking in the library? There are lots of options that don’t involve cooking at all! Try a food tasting for cheese or chocolate. Presenters will often incorporate some history or other background information in the program. Coffee and tea tastings will involve some equipment but present a similar appeal. Beer and other alcoholic beverages are likely off the table, but how about having a mocktails class? Another non-cooking option could focus on cooking-related skills. For instance, proper knife use and care is valuable for any cook to know. Food safety is a topic that can be covered in its own class or you could incorporate it into other food programs.

Finally, libraries have been offering book clubs for years so it’s no surprise that cookbook clubs have joined their ranks. There are a couple of different ways you can run a cookbook club: pick a cookbook, an ingredient, or a theme. Once you’ve decided that, participants make a dish and bring it to the meeting to share. It’s a great way to meet people and try new food recipes that you might not get to on your own.

Hopefully, you’re inspired to include food programming at your library. With so many options out there, there’s sure to be something that works for you. Bon appétit!

Letters About Literature: 2019 Awards Ceremony Held at State House

By Ellen Flanagan Kenny, Communications Associate at the Massachusetts Center for the Book

L-R: Norwood High School English teacher Elizabeth Colahan, Kenneth Amis, Elizabeth Amis, Norwood High junior Jason Amis (Level 3 Honoree), and Senator Michael Rush.

Thirty students were honored at the annual Letters About Literature awards ceremony, held on May 23 in the Reading Room of the State Library at the Massachusetts State House.  Representative Natalie Higgins, House Co-Chair of the Library Caucus, provided the legislative welcome and thanked the many legislators on hand to welcome families, teachers, and librarians to this “Celebration of Massachusetts Student Reading & Writing.”

The Letters About Literature program is sponsored nationwide by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and administered by state centers for the book which operate in each of the 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Students in Grades 4 to 12 write letters to authors about books, poems or speeches which had a profound effect on them.  One of the most active state programs, Massachusetts again received thousands of letters from all corners of the Commonwealth.

Level 2 (Grades 7-8) Top Honors awardee Bezawit Seyfe O’Neill of Brookline (Montrose School) reading her letter.

In her remarks, Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director of Mass Center for the Book, told the thirty honorees that they represented the top 1% of participants in Massachusetts.  “Every year, and perhaps this year more so, Letters About Literature reminds us of the power of books, the importance of reflective thought and writing, and the necessity of those activities in an engaged and civil society,” Shaloo said.

An outstanding team of 2019 judges including Sharon Bernard, Director, Fitchburg Public Library; Beth Ineson, Executive Director, New England Independent Booksellers Association; and David Mazor, Executive Director, Reader to Reader, Inc., presented awards to the student honorees.  Judging assistance was also provided by the English Department at Salem State University and MCB staff and volunteers.

The 26th annual Letters About Literature program was made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

L-R: David Mazor, Executive Director of Reader to Reader, Inc., Beth Ineson, Executive Director of NEIBA, Representative Natalie Higgins, House Co-Chair of the Library Caucus, Sharon Bernard, Director, Fitchburg Public Library, and James Lonergan, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

The Massachusetts Center for the Book, chartered as the Commonwealth Affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is a public-private partnership charged with developing, supporting and promoting cultural programming that advances the cause of books and reading and enhances the outreach potential of Massachusetts public libraries.

For more information, contact info@massbook.org or call 617-872-3718.

Best Practice for Trustees: Massachusetts Library Laws

By Rob Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC

Previous blog posts have been highlighting excerpts from the Trustee Handbook focusing on laws and liability relating to libraries and library trustees. What follows is a list of laws that apply to libraries for your reference.  As you can see many of the items on this list go beyond the specific laws governing boards of trustees that we have covered in MGL Chapter 78. Being aware of the broad range of laws governing libraries, human resources, finance, and labor relations is essential. And an important best practice for librarians and library trustees.

MASSACHUSETTS LAWS PERTAINING TO LIBRARIES

It is advisable for trustees and the library director to acquire a familiarity with local, state and federal laws which may have an impact on library management by consulting with local municipal officials and other authorities.

Although there are many Massachusetts laws which could apply to library management, the following is a selective list of Massachusetts laws which have a broad impact on the board of trustees and which are particularly relevant to the general administration of Massachusetts public libraries. Full text of Massachusetts General Laws may be accessed online at http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/Search.

A Selective List of Massachusetts Laws with Relevance to Libraries:

Accessibility of Public Buildings by Handicapped Persons (ch.22 §13A)
Anti-Discrimination Law (ch.151B)
Charitable Corporations (ch.180 §§1-11C, 26-26B)
Confidentiality of Library Records (ch.78 §7 ; ch.4 §7(26) ; ch.66 §10)
Conflict of Interest (ch.268A §§17-25)

Crimes in/against libraries:
Destruction or Mutilation of library Materials (ch.266 §§99, 100)
Theft of Library Materials (ch.266 §§99, 99A)
Disturbance of Libraries (ch.272 §41)
Harmful to Minors Act (ch.272 §§28, 31)

Funds:
General Receipt of Funds (ch.44 §53)
Receipt of Grants or Gifts (ch.44 §53A)
Replacement Funds (for lost or damaged materials) (ch.44 §53)
Revolving Funds (ch.44 §53E1/2)
Trust Funds (ch.44 §§54, 55B)

Labor Relations: Public Employees (ch.150E)
Liability (ch.258)
Public Libraries:
Establishment of Free Public Libraries (ch.78 §§1, 7-13)
Trustees of Town Libraries (ch.78 §§10-13)
Association/Corporation Libraries (ch.78 §§1, 13)
Board of Library Commissioners (ch.78 §§14-15, 19)
State Aid to Cities and Towns for Free Public Libraries (ch.78 §§19A,B)
Joint Libraries (ch.78 §11)
Written Policy for Selection of Materials (ch.78 §33)
Written Employment Contracts with Library Directors (ch.78 §34)

Open Meeting Law (ch.30A §§18-25)
Public Records (ch.66 §§1-18)

Information pertaining to this blog post can be found on pages 43-45 of the Massachusetts Public Library Trustee Handbook.

For more information about all services and resources available to trustees please visit the MBLC Trustee page (https://mblc.state.ma.us/for/trustees.php).

Have a question relating to your board? Contact Maura Deedy (maura.deedy@mass.gov) or Rob Favini (robert.favini@state.ma.us)

Sturgis Library: Preserving and Sharing Barnstable’s Rich Histories

By Evan Knight, Preservation Specialist at the MBLC

1. Lucy Loomis, Director of Sturgis Library, in front of Lothrop Bible (1605).

For ALA’s Preservation Week 2019, we are rolling-out a series called “People of Preservation,” highlighting the people taking care of interesting library collections across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The biggest driver of successful preservation and curation is having dedicated and knowledgeable staffs. This series is going to show why, while celebrating their successes!

I’m going to start off by highlighting some recent work by Lucy Loomis, Director of the Sturgis Library in Barnstable.

  • Barnstable Patriot and Register newspaper digital archives updated for 2019: Read about some of the collaborative work necessary to pull off digitization of nearly 200 years of Cape Cod history. The two papers cover Cape Cod and the Islands, with 20th century emphasis on the towns of Barnstable, Dennis, and Yarmouth.  The Patriot archive covers the years 1830 to 2017, and the Register covers the years 1836 to 2017. See more at Sturgis Library’s Newspaper Indexes.
  • Understanding history is a process, not an equation. A key part, in my opinion, in the process of better understanding history is being able to interact with the physical objects of the past. On a recent visit with Lucy, I learned the Sturgis Library held a strong collection of historic whaling volumes. With grant support from MBLC through IMLS/LSTA funds, selections from these primary source materials are going to be reproduced and shared with high school students in support of history curricula at Sturgis Charter Public School. (The grant category is called “First Contact.”)
  • It’s obvious there’s a great commitment by Lucy, staff, and the community to collect, preserve, and of course better understand the history of Barnstable. It’s a pleasure to have visited and learned more about their work. Here’s just three more examples (among many others, too!) that I’d like to share and celebrate:

 

Thanks for all your excellent work, Lucy!

Libraries on the Move: A Brief History of Bookmobiles

By Lyndsay Forbes, Project Manager and Grant Specialist at the MBLC

While we’re always trying to entice people to come into the library, more and more libraries are recognizing and prioritizing getting out of the physical building and into the community. Outreach is such a critical part of what we librarians do, and it is often the best way to reach those who need our services the most. One way some libraries are reaching out to their communities is through their bookmobile.

Bookmobiles have existed in the U.S. since the turn of the century, though the original ones were horse drawn carriages. The first motorized bookmobiles launched in 1912. While they started as a way to get books to rural and far flung areas, they have adapted over the years and can be found in all types of communities engaging in a variety of services.

Over the years, the popularity of bookmobiles has risen and fallen. There was a decline during both World Wars and the Great Depression. The 1950s and 1960s saw a huge growth, some of which is likely due to the Library Services Act of 1956 as well as additional legislation. While their popularity has fluctuated over the years, you shouldn’t think of them as nostalgic relics from years ago. Bookmobiles are still a part of modern library service in many communities. In fact, there are currently six bookmobiles operating in five public libraries in Massachusetts – Beverly, Chicopee, Natick, New Bedford, and Worcester (which has two).

In Chicopee, when you can’t get to the library, there’s a way for it to come to you! Since June 2015, the Chicopee Public Library’s Bookmobile has been a significant part of library outreach. The schedule rotates every few months. Right now, the Bookmobile is using a two week rotation, where they make fifteen stops at eleven different sites. Locations include housing complexes, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Senior Center. Warmer months see the addition of parks and the farmers market among the stops.

Chicopee’s Bookmobile truly is a library on wheels, offering the typical library services you’d expect in a brick and mortar building. On the Bookmobile, you can check out materials, request items for pick up, access online resources, use a WiFi hot spot, register for a library card, and get on the internet via iPads.

If you’re a librarian thinking about getting your own bookmobile, you should know that it can be a large investment in time and money. So, while it’s not something to enter into lightly, many libraries do find it is well worth the effort. And if you’re looking to up your outreach game, it might just be the answer you’re looking for!

Best Practice for Trustees: Open Meeting Law

By Rob Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC

The Open Meeting Law generates a lot of questions from trustees across the state. The most frequently asked is, “does this law apply to me?” The short answer is, yes! Public libraries in Massachusetts must adhere to open meeting laws. For corporation or association libraries that receiving ANY amount of municipal funding, following open meeting law is a basic best practice.

Below are links to resources available from Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. We recommend that all trustees review these materials to learn how the law applies to posting meetings, taking meeting minutes, executive sessions, and the use of email and social media.

Open Meeting Law
Public bodies, which generally include public library trustee boards, are required to comply with the Open Meeting Law (MGL ch. 30A, sec. 18-25), as enforced by the state Attorney General’s office. As noted in the AG’s Open Meeting Law Guide, “The purpose of the Open Meeting Law is to ensure transparency in the deliberations on which public policy is based. Because the democratic process depends on the public having knowledge about the considerations underlying governmental action, the Open Meeting Law requires, with some exceptions, that meetings of public bodies be open to the public.”

All library trustees should be familiar with the Open Meeting Law, which mandates meeting notices be posted prior to meetings of public boards, requires records or “minutes” of meetings to be kept, and delineates certain instances in which portions of meetings may be closed to the public. The Attorney General’s office has some helpful resources on their website, including the extremely useful Open Meeting Law Guide. Questions concerning the Open Meeting Law should be directed to the local Town Clerk or the Attorney General’s Division of Open Government (http://www.mass.gov/ago/government-resources/open-meeting-law).

Certain library boards, such as boards of some association libraries that are not municipal departments, may not be considered public bodies under the Open Meeting Law. If such a board is uncertain of whether it must comply with Open Meeting Law, the board should contact the Attorney General’s office directly for a determination. Some association/corporation libraries may be required to follow Open Meeting Law under agreement with the municipality that they serve. It is strongly recommended that all library boards follow the tenets of the Open Meeting Law, even if they are not required to by law. A board that practices openness and transparency will be better able to maintain a good relationship with the municipality and seek support from its community

Information regarding Open Meeting Law can be found on page 41 of the Massachusetts Public Library Trustee Handbook.

Have a question relating to your board? Contact Maura Deedy (maura.deedy@mass.gov) or Rob Favini (robert.favini@state.ma.us)

Please join us at the MBLC’s Trustee Institute, April 27th! For information and registration: https://mblc.libcal.com/event/5158107?hs=a

Library Valentines are a Powerful Message to Legislators

We’ve compiled the results from the third annual #LibraryLovers campaign. What’s the #1 thing residents’ love about their libraries?
The librarians! Nearly every one of the 3,000 valentines that were submitted this year mentioned how much librarians and are valued. They literally used the following words: “LOVE our librarians, “helpful”, “patient,” “friendly,”  “knowledgeable,” and “not shushers.” They mentioned librarians by name and really liked that the librarians knew them by name, too.

The valentines represent what we often say to legislators about why libraries are important; but there’s a difference between our saying it and hearing directly from residents who are impacted. It’s simply more powerful.  In the 3 years that we’ve done the #LibraryLovers campaign, the MBLC has given legislators nearly 15,000 valentines because, as one resident said, we “can’t imagine a community without a library” either.

We skim through them and are really moved by the emotional connection people have to their library. Some make us laugh and others pull at our heartstrings. Here’s a few of our favorite lines from the online valentines:

The library makes all my dreams come true, well pretty much all

I can't imagine a community without a library.

I love my library because they have the resources I need for life, the entertainment I need to relax, and the people who make it special
…i also like it cause of there free wifi. If i have no connection at home i could just go to the library so i dont have to stay after school.

 

I love that our library offers the tools that makes our community an equal opportunity place

-… they always have activities.I did one of the activities and it was awesome I made new friends and I learned new stuff.
For a small community, our library has a very large footprint.  Thank you.

It’s a pretty cool place to be

no matter how much money you have if there's a book you wan't and it's in the library you don't have to buy it you can just check it out

-[from a teenager] I love my library because I feel at home there.

 

Not everyone can afford books off the shelf and the library helps give the community an equal opportunity to information and knowledge.
Several of our librarians have become our friends, having seen my children and their love of reading grow over the years. Thank you for everything!
I would be lost without this library.  Between the staff and the books  this is such a gift!

…our library is a place to not only share books but share our community spirit with one another

 

… I also enjoy spending time in a completely commercial free community space.

 

For us, the library is essential for our success as homeschoolers.

Libraries deserve top funding for providing education and culture, museum passes, advice, friendship, services, and so much more to the town.
…everyone has treated me with respect and kindness, making me feel that my concern at that moment is the only thing that matters
-I love the feeling of belonging I get walking through the doors. It's my sons favorite place.

Librarians have always spoken directly to him [my son], even when he was four, and that made him feel valued.  
-I am proud of our town library and know that I will enjoy utilizing it for the rest of my life.

 

Diversity of opportunities, enthusiasm and helpfulness of library staff, feeling of being welcomed every time I visit library, library’s constant effort to address needs of the community ( I. E. Flu lecture )

 

I love my library! I have an emotional attachment to it. If you take the library away.... You take away a very important part of the social fabric of society

 

I brought my kids to this library. It's where they hooked their reading skills and are excellent readers today as well as life long Learners

 

Our library provides the critical service of keeping the public informed, educated, providing access to information that is a must in this day and age
If you ever want peace to do homework the library is for you.

THE answer center for questions about everything and anything; taxes to truffles.

 

I am so glad I live in a town with such a good library.  

 

Please keep funding and supporting the town library system it is one of the very best things about our town
We cannot afford cable and the number of DVDs that are available through inter-library loan in phenomenal!!
-Whenever i'm feeling bored my parents let me go to the library where i have an absolutely epic time listening to and reading stories
The cookbook bookclubs give me the opportunity to meet and enjoy other members of my community that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to do so.
Getting essentially any book in the world through inter-library loan!

-Not only can I borrow books but I can also receive tutorials on how to use my iPhone, iPad and laptop.  And all of these services are for free
The library is a community center where I can go to educational meetings about local issues, historical events or world affairs.  
 I remember one time i got to read to a dog and that was the best day ever.

 

this library means every thing to me please save it.

I love how I  get to pick any book I want and I also get to see my sister sometimes

No member of society, from the youngest to the oldest, is neglected there; libraries contain treasures for all.
As a senior citizen, nahant Library is a HAVEN of happiness, intellectual growth , and exploration.
I am new to America and I never read books before. I always ask confused questions to the librarians. They always never give up on me and they recommended new and easy books to improve myself in reading. Now I read novels and I love them

 

The MA library system is one of the few barrier free institutions in the Commonwealth…

My life would be greatly impoverished without my library visits and the excellent help and guidance I get there.

 

-My library opens a window to that world which would be shut to me without it.

 

Simply put, it’s home.  Ever since I was a child, the library has been a second home to me.  No matter what else was happening, I always had my books
-It is imperative that we keep community libraries open and that we better their internet access and technology which all MA citizens will need to move forward into the 21st century

 

[My kids are] always begging to read books and to go to the library and I attribute their love of books to the library's engaging programs.

 

Basically----I love my Library and am extremely satisfied.  I even like that they have a bin in the lobby to drop off cat & dog food and I am now trying to make a small donation of food every week/every other week.  I figure if I can check out books for free then I can make a donation that goes to a great cause!

 

Made me feel welcome the second I walked in and answered every question I asked them.

 

Being a low income single mom, the library has been a safe haven happy place for my children and I. The feeling of calmness of the library is what draws us. My library offers many free programs for my girls one of our favorites is story time, painting/art, and reading with therapy dogs
We would be diminished and impoverished without them and anybody who says otherwise is in a word woefully uninformed & perhaps obtuse.  However a visit or two to their local library could rectify that
Our library hosts school study evenings for high school students before mid-terms and final exams - includes pizza (imagine that in a Library!)

 

Certainly, I do not believe that I would be as worldly or open-minded as I am now without the vital support of the library, and all the services it provides to me and the community