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What Good is Your Public Library? Plenty!
Some say libraries will be made obsolete by ebooks and the Internet. But some of us will always prefer actual books–to hold, feel, and smell. And sometimes taste, in the case of our youngest patrons. Don’t worry, we clean them (the books, not the babies).
Support your library today!
And libraries are much more than books. During National Library Week, April 14-20, we want to tell you about the good you help us do. Your library matters to individuals and to the community–in both practical and emotional ways.
One of our patrons collects local obituaries, indexes them, and donates his work to the library. Recently a woman noticed the obituary binder at our reference desk and started looking for her friend’s death record. She had lost her copy of his obituary long before. When we found it and made a copy for her, tears began to flow.
When she showed her companion what she had found, that friend immediately looked for information on a high school friend of hers who had passed away. Her mementoes of that friend had been destroyed years before. Librarians helped her search microfilm of newspaper records to find a detailed obituary, including a picture, of her departed friend. Our reference department overflowed with emotion that day.
Patrons like Don in Grottoes use the library for job searches. He has a smart phone to look up information. But as he explains, “When you actually want to put in an application, you really need a computer system.”
Don uses the Grottoes and Main branches to research and apply for jobs, read newspapers, and check out DVDs. “In the winter months when it’s gray and dreary I like to have my comedy fix,” he says. He appreciates that he can search the whole library system’s collection and have items sent to Grottoes to pick up. “I’d love to get the word out about how easily accessible the entire library system is,” he says.
Others, like Amy, need materials that supplement her weekly home school topics. She is able to search for books throughout the library system and put them on hold for the week she needs them for her curriculum. Her family uses magazines donated to the library to do research or use for art projects. Monthly craft hours give her children fun activities as well as time for social interaction with their peers. Amy says, “For us the Grottoes Branch Library is a gigantic help with home school resources and social connections for the kids.”
More than half of young adults and seniors living in poverty in the United States used public libraries to access the Internet. Public library cardholders number 151 million, compared to 181 million credit card holders. And libraries cost just $42 per citizen per year on average. Locally our funding is just $13.31 per capita. That’s value!
Here in Harrisonburg, Rockingham and Page, we are able to provide services thanks to your tax dollars and donations. The folks who share their stories here–your friends and neighbors–received these services because you support your library. Help us continue to do plenty of good for plenty of people!
And if your budget allows, please consider making an additional one-time gift to fund our Village Library expansion. We need to raise $100,000 toward this $300,000 project that will benefit northern Rockingham County for decades.
We appreciate gifts of all sizes, and we make the most of every dollar! We also welcome gifts of stock and property, and are grateful to be included in patrons’ estate planning.
You can make a donation at any branch by cash or check, or at our Main Branch with cash, check, Visa or Master Card. You also can donate right now with your Master Card or Visa, using our secure server.
Have questions or want to talk to someone about our library needs? Contact Kim Haines at 540.434.4475 ext. 135 or use our Contact Form.