Celebrate libraries and all they do for us
To the editor:
The American Library Association celebrated National Library Week between April 7-13 and Maine libraries celebrated Maine Library Day on April 24 in the State House Hall of Flags.
Gov. Janet Mills proclaimed April Maine Libraries Month, stating in part that:
— libraries enable individuals to make informed decisions about their self-governance by promoting unrestricted access to information and by serving as community centers for lifelong learning;
— in a world undergoing constant change, libraries provide enduring connections to the past and future of our communities, nations, and civilizations;
— the expansion of electronic networks linking libraries and their resources makes possible better and more easily accessible information for library users around the world;
— libraries provide entry to important research about jobs and careers, health, economics, housing, the environment and countless other areas to support better living conditions and to help people lead longer, more productive and fulfilling lives; and,
— of the 1.3 million people living in the State of Maine, more than 650,000 residents have library cards at Maine’s public libraries, and more than 8.5 million items were lent by Maine’s public libraries in the past year.
Speaking as a director and librarian at one of Maine’s public libraries, I am humbled and honored to serve in the capacity that Gov. Mills endorses. As she attests, our libraries are community centers for lifelong learning while connecting us to the past and future of our communities.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of helping others refine their cover letters and resumes for job hunting purposes. I have shared in their joy when they have landed the perfect job that contributes to our communities and to our state. I’ve also had the pleasure to support requests regarding information to help a loved one with a drug addiction, mental disorder, learning disability, or illness.
One of my greatest enjoyments has been offering story times and summer reading programs to promote reading to children. I have seen children’s eyes grow wide when I tell them how big an elephant is, or how tall a redwood tree is. They are truly the best audience to read to. Their excitement is palpable and contagious. And, when they say, “Read it again,” well, one must.
To my fellow library directors and librarians, happy Maine Libraries Month, you are shining stars in your communities. You instill the pleasure of reading to others, which makes our communities healthier and stronger.
On a personal note, thank you for supporting and helping me in my time as a director and librarian. Thank you to Mrs. Londa Brown, an incredible former librarian at Washburn High School. I found my pleasure of reading because of Mrs. Brown when I was a sophomore in high school. It’s incredible to think that I’ve continued her legacy by serving my community as a librarian, a truly worthwhile and intrinsically-rewarding profession.
Director and librarian
Robert A. Frost Memorial Library