* This suggestion is part of our National Library Week 2015 series. To celebrate libraries everywhere, we are posting a library-related suggestion every day this week. *
For a lot of people in my community, this library is a lifeline. Sure, people come here for mundane things like Internet, or a printer, or for general information. We also have a lot of voracious readers who would otherwise not read because they can’t afford to buy books. And don’t forget all the parents for which the children’s programs are absolutely essential to their sanity. But one service that people aren’t aware libraries provide is as simple as being someplace to go. You wouldn’t believe how many people have nowhere else they feel more comfortable than here at the library.
Robert Dawson’s book The Public Library is a testament to how all public libraries, both the sprawling architectural marvels and the dilapidated hole-in-the-walls, perform vital services for their communities. The book’s subtitle, “A photographic essay,” does not disappoint: there are pages and pages of beautiful photos—but it’s the compiled written essays that make this book worth checking out. Literary greats like Ann Patchett , Barbara Kingsolver, and Amy Tan write passionately about how libraries made a difference in their lives. Each essay is short, engaging, and will stay with you long after you’ve read it.
The American Library Association’s 2015 Library Week theme is “Unlimited possibilities @ your library,” and I believe in it wholeheartedly. Libraries provide the tools to better your life, and all you have to do is pick them up.