This year's theme for National Library Week is Libraries Transform. I can only speak for the library I've worked at for the last decade but I truly believe that our library transforms. We offer more than books. My library (and many others) offer a community, a safe haven, a world where anything and everything is possible. Libraries are places where dreaming becomes reality. Don't believe me? Take a look around the next time you go to a library. Sit in on a storytime and watch the librarian transform a book into a world of awe for young kids. Sit in on a computer class and watch as students realize computers aren't as intimidating as they seem to be. Take a gander at the customer service or checkout desk and watch as the staff interact with staff and see how close most of them are. Peek at the volunteers dedicating their own time to build a stronger community for future generations. Spend a day at your local library and I'm sure you will see what I see.
What makes it so meaningful though is that we have volunteers who are willing to come in day after day, week after week, and year after year to do the same things for us. They understand how important a library is to the community and they help create the magic that is our library. Volunteers don't get paid and they don't have to do anything for us. They choose to. That's what make them so important to us. I get paid for what I do. None of my volunteers do but a lot of them have been there as long as I have. That's real dedication! I am lucky to be part of a staff that recognize what volunteers do for us because we make sure to honor them and thank them every year. Our library wouldn't be as great if we didn't have our volunteers. While we may transform the lives of our customers, our volunteers transform the lives of the staff and the community as a whole.
I hope that you have a library nearby to experience all the that I've just talked about. If not, please contact me and I'm happy to help you find one. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact me and I'll help direct you as well. If you'd like to shoutout your library or volunteers, please do! I'd love to see libraries and volunteers in action!