National Library Week recognizes outstanding local institutions

The days of libraries being stuffy old buildings filled with musty books and governed by rules forcing everyone to be quiet and not have fun are long gone.

Today’s public libraries are vibrant community hubs where you’ll see anything from Nerf wars to senior citizens getting help with taxes to choir concerts and everything in between.

With this week being National Library Week — with a fitting theme of “Libraries Transform” — there is never a better time to show your appreciation to the libraries and staffs that serve Niles, Buchanan, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg and Cassopolis.

What is the best way to say thank you? Simply visit a branch and learn more about what they have to offer.

Our modern libraries have truly lived up to this year’s theme by transforming into community resource centers that fill so many needs.

Offerings vary on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis. Computers and Internet access have become a large part of this, but don’t think that libraries have forgotten about the printed page.

Books, newspapers and magazines are still a vital part of what libraries offer, but the evolution of libraries and new technology has allowed so much more access to larger catalogues and archives.

In most cases, public libraries are supported by tax dollars. This is money well spent and among the most vital services for a community.

Sidney Sheldon, an American author and producer of movies and Broadway plays, captured perfectly the essence of what libraries mean to our communities.

“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.”

Those who call southwest Michigan home are proof of this and should be thankful for our great libraries.

 

Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.

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