The Oxford dictionary defines a library as “a building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or refer to.” This is still very much true. Libraries, and bookstores, both pretty much fit this bill. A building filled with books. A bibliophile's dream.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve books. To be honest, most of them involve books. My family would walk to the library every weekend to replenish our nightly reading material. Rather, they would walk, and I would skip ahead with a bulging knapsack full of books.
I’m hard pressed to say what was more gratifying: selecting new books or returning books. There was just something super cool about dropping in each book gingerly and precisely in the book return slot. Then, I would spend hours wandering the stacks, sometimes just stopping randomly to pull a book from the shelf and plop on the floor and start reading.
Now, as I walk through libraries, I feel like a time traveler. The look, the feel and the smell of libraries have changed.
They are no longer just unending stacks of books with card catalogs and an unearthly and spellbinding blanket of hushed voices and whispers. Libraries of today hum with a buzz of technology, activities and hands-on learning. Libraries have become buildings and rooms containing the resources, media, and technology of the age, accompanied by the workshops, tutorials and classes necessary to understand and use them
They house computer labs. Kids art and craft sessions. Adult language classes. Increasingly, maker hubs and makerspaces with everything from 3-D printers to Laser Cutters and Cricut machines.
Libraries now connect individuals to more than just great books. They are a bridge connecting people with shared interests, providing access to the internet and new technologies, as well as providing opportunities for hands-on learning.
This year National Library Week is April 3 - 9, 2022, and encourages everyone to “Connect with Your Library.” Stop in and check out a new book. Register for a class or activity. Join a book club. Follow and support them on social media. Sign up for a how-to workshop. Check out their event calendar and share with friends.
Here, at MakerStock, we are happy to see that one of our local libraries, The Albright Memorial Library, is opening a MakerSpace with a variety of equipment. Not only will you be able to access a 3D printer, laser engraver and heat press, you can use an embroidery machine, podcast equipment and more.
Let us know what you love about your local library. Let them know that you support them. During National Library Week, wse #MyLibrary and #NationalLibraryWeek and follow along on social media!