It’s National Library Week. Did you know? I’ll confess I’m not a fan of “Blank-Blank Weeks” in general, but this one’s too important to ignore. I’ve relayed my own memories here of the Gulfport, Florida library where my addiction to reading got its start. At the time many of you commented about your own good experiences.
But while we were waxing nostalgic, did any of us realize that:
- 68% of Americans have library cards and use them.
- 92% who were polled believe libraries will remain important in our future, even with the internet.
- Only 22% of library users are over 55. 35% are between the ages of 18 and 34.
- 1 in 10 card holders visit the library more than 25 times in a year.
- For people without internet access at home, public libraries are the number one point of access.
- There are more public libraries than there are McDonalds restaurants! Without a French fry in sight.
- About 80% of library funding comes from local sources that YOU can influence.
I just discovered that my own county board is returning 3 hours of library time during the week to each of our branches after cutting hours several years ago to help balance our local budget. Let’s all encourage our city mothers and fathers to remember libraries and their importance to our communities when they make their tough decisions. And while we’re at it, let’s tell our librarians how much we appreciate all they do. I plan to when I pick up the two books I’ve reserved this week.
And aren’t I lucky I still have a library where I can do that?
By the way, the photo above? The Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey was built somewhere between 115-25 AD, and the facade is still standing. May our libraries continue to stand, as well.