Libraries Are a Social Place

Libraries are not just places where you can check out books, do research on computers, or get information from a librarians- libraries are a social place. Forget the stigma of the shushing librarian and think about who you could meet at the library. Libraries are a meeting place and a place for community.

“As librarians, we know the value of our community services, and our patrons appreciate their importance as well. But in an increasingly digital world, we see the role of libraries as community and cultural centers at times undervalued, and occasionally under fire. When shrinking municipal budgets combine with the nonstop technological revolution, public library services that focus on building community face-to-face, inspiring and educating patrons about art, literature, and music, and helping patrons engage in civil discourse can seem quaint. But it is precisely those shrinking budgets and the onslaught of technologically mediated life that make public libraries’ cultural and community offerings more important than ever.

David Morris wrote a stirring piece last May in which he argues for the value that public libraries bring to their communities.[1] More than just books and banks of computers, libraries are still places where individuals gather to explore, interact, and imagine. We decided to take a look at some of the specific ways in which libraries add value to our communities and serve as cultural centers for our patrons. We separated library services into five very broad…Read more