Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Value of libraries

How long has it been since you last visited your hometown library? Whenever it was, was your library experience a valuable one and did it make you want to come back? Did the staff, including the Director, assist you in a friendly and welcoming manner? Was the library able to help you find what you needed or provide another avenue for you to acquire needed information? You see, these questions are ones I think about frequently. As Director of your Wabash Carnegie Public Library, you could say that it is my business to think about these questions.

As someone fairly new to the position of Director of the Wabash Carnegie Public Library, I have tried to be visible and introduce myself to people in this community. I am starting to appreciate your pride and love of Wabash. Wabash Carnegie Public Library has been in its present location since 1903 and a well-know institution in this community.

Even in the age of the Internet and instant information access, public libraries can still play an important role in a community and be a vital partner. We live in a society where retrieving information and communicating is necessary for everyday life and success. For many in our community who lack Internet access at home, the library provides a window to retrieve information electronically and communicate electronically too. For example, need to found out the most updated information on a company’s stock you are thinking about selling or buying? You can visit the Wabash Carnegie Public Library and use our computers to access the latest information on line.

Public libraries promote reading and communication of ideas. Whether reading for pleasure or particular purpose in mind, reading and literacy is a crucial element for a healthy community that public libraries are consistently providing regardless of age. There are many examples here at the Wabash Carnegie Public Library of our staff carrying our mission of literacy and education.

Everyday I observe Nancy Synder, April Nicely, and Polly Parman of our Youth Services Department promoting learning, reading, and sharing in the youth of Wabash. For children and their parents, learning to read and enjoying what reading brings at a young age is crucial for one’s development in life. It is also evident from the reaction of the youth that the library, through its staff, creates an environment where youth are comfortable and excited to learn.

The Wabash Carnegie Public Library and other public libraries also provide a place for the community where one can just relax and be in a conducive and welcoming environment. Where can one grab a book or magazine and find a quiet place to sit and read? The answer is at the library. The Wabash Carnegie Public Library within the context of its patron behavior policy strives to be an environment where one feels welcomed and relaxes a little during a stressful day.

Is the Wabash Carnegie Public Library providing the best service possible to you? How can the Wabash Carnegie Public Library be the best partner to the taxpayers, the community, and the various institutions? These are questions I consistently ask myself as Director and welcome your feedback to these questions. I believe the Wabash Carnegie Public Library is a vital and essential part of this community.

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