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Church & Community September 11, 2018  RSS feed

Libraries in the digital world

By Darla R Williams

When was the first library founded in America? In 1644 by Reverend John Lothrop. Barnstable was the oldest library in our history. But was limited to use by the members of a congregation in a church. But the first public library was founded by Benjamin Franklin. The Library Company of Philadelphia was established in 1731.

Here in Buffalo we established a public library in 1971 it was originally located on Railroad in the Old Lyon Hotel. Then it was moved in 1983 because Champion Mobil Home Company built a custom home to be used as a library facility. In 1992 the library moved again into the building it is currently in. The former building was donated to Marquez to establish a library there.

However I would like to address a grave concern I have in regards to the libraries at large. As most are aware I am a recently published author / illustrator of a children’s book titled Casey’s Adventure which has led me through the doors of our local library as well as the libraries of the surrounding area. This gave me an inside look at what is really happening to the libraries. In some locations they are growing and developing with a surplus of individuals coming and going. While in other communities it is slowly dying out. Budgets are being cut. Employee position are cut due to the lack of use of the resources.

One of the keys to our great nation is the abundant wealth of knowledge we possess from the written word passed down from generation to generation. While we are expanding on the extraordinary digital age. May we never lose the hard pressed, printed text of the mighty weight of a book.

While we can find the information at our finger tips is it viable? Is it complete? Our days and nights are filled with instant gratification instead of mindful search of education. As independent as we have become on being sufficient, reliant, and taught in our own unique ways. Remember that not only is this an avenue of resources and education but also a great place of worlds undiscovered. Opening a book can take you to new worlds seen and others of make believe. Tales of every genre are available.

There is a decline in numbers of library card holders abroad. So take a moment out of your busy life stop into your local library. Find out what is available for you and your family. Build the literary foundation by checking out a book. Or see what you can do to help out. Volunteers are needed to read to the children. Donate if you can to make sure the doors stay open. I hope to see you there. Do you have your library card?

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