Last weekend we went to our local movie theater and watched Lyle Lyle Crocodile. When I showed my daughter the movie trailer, her first response was I love that book (The House On 88th Street). It was a moment I was very proud of.
Growing up there wasn’t a single book in our home. There were an assortment of adult magazines. I devoured the young adult section in our school library.
We live in an age where a kid can get on a phone or a computer and look up anything, good or bad. And the bad is awful. Kids get on social media without supervision.
Many of us today grab an ebook or an audio book. Some of us are fortunate to have packed bookshelves in our homes. But a library is so much more.
While I love our library, it is not big enough for the wonderful work they do there. They do a wonderful job but it doesn’t seem large enough as most rooms do double and triple duty.
When I think of an expanded library, I think of a safe place for kids to build memories in a healthy positive space. I think of books in their hands. I think of this program room for storytime for littles, space to grow kids imaginations during summer reading programs, youth to meet with counselors, movie nights, and more.
My child has known books since the day she was born. We have books in our home, books we check out from the library, and she loves going to the library. She associates it with positive and fun.
One year when her and a friend were probably 3 or 4 years old, dressed in their Halloween costumes, they climbed into a bookshelf for fun.
When I think of the children in our community, I think how they are from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Some have no books in their home while others may have tons. But it’s not just about books. It’s about a safe place to go. It’s about engaging with others in a positive atmosphere outside of school where there is supervision.
When I look at the world today there is a lot of terrible cringeworthy concerns - drugs, human trafficking and more. If there is a choice, I prefer to raise children in safer places with healthy role models.
I smile at the thought of a library expansion because it’s investing in the next generation. It’s investing in our youth. And creating memories surrounded by books makes me smile the most.
I leave you with two quotes.
“To ask why we need libraries at all, when there is so much information available elsewhere, is about as sensible as asking if roadmaps are necessary now that there are so very many roads.” Jon Bing
“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.” Sidney Sheldon
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