People’s University – Celebrating Libraries’ Contributions to Community

 

A year past the half-century mark, this year’s theme for National Library Week, April 12-18, “Worlds Connect @ Your Library,” aptly characterizes the essential role that public, academic and special libraries play in our communities. As Project for Public Spaces reports, “If the old model of the library was the inward-focused reading room, the new one is more like a community front porch.”

These welcoming institutions not only foster the habit of reading in both adults and children, they teach us how to become savvy in accessing, evaluating and using information. With almost all U.S. public libraries now online, these continuing bastions of democracy provide access to onsite and global resources to all people, regardless of their ability to pay. Onsite English as a Second Language classes support immigrants in becoming productive citizens. Libraries also increasingly serve as the social gathering places that early public library advocate and builder Andrew Carnegie envisioned. They can even be a fulcrum for renewal in cities and neighborhoods.

Check with local libraries for schedules of special events, classes, lectures, book talks, children’s programs and other activities.

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