The existence of libraries ensures that knowledge and technology are available to everyone, not just to those who can afford them. Libraries have survived and thrived through the expansion of digital media, the rise of e-books, and all digital transformation. Reconfiguring their spaces to be more social, and more functional and by offering more programs and classes – libraries are still popular to use. The resources and services created by libraries offer space for special, non-scary learning, literacy, and education. For this week’s Princh Library Blog, we have revisited an essential topic discussed in our previous post – 5 Steps to Save Your Local Library – and have added even more ways you can support your local library.

It would be offensive to talk about libraries without including librarians and the efforts they make. Librarians are much more than stereotypical stuffy old ladies, who check books all the time. In order to make the library run efficiently and better serve the library’s patrons, librarians rely on many skills.  Cataloging, information curation, communication, research, and organizational skills are mostly in all librarians’ DNA. Additionally, to be able to advise readers on books for their interests, librarians tend to read a variety of genres and types of books. The ability to present information clearly and in an interesting manner and promotion of different initiatives are in most librarians’ skillset as well.

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1. Get a library card

Let’s face it, for most readers, reading has changed our lives, the same way the local libraries have. A passive way to promote your library’s services is to use them regularly; become a member, get a library card, and check out materials with this card, as statistics are important for libraries. There is nothing more empowering than getting your own library card. It gives you access to technology, resources, and services to pursue your passions and dreams in the library’s safe atmosphere.

2. Borrow books

Circulation is one of the most important metrics for libraries to decide what types of books are the most interesting and attractive for people. If you need a book, go to a library, instead of going to big retail stores – borrowing a book library can help you save money, keep a sustainable life, and participate in sharing concepts.

3. Donate books & materials

Donating books to libraries will make you feel better; what is better than spreading the spirit of reading different types of books and getting them to someone who will appreciate them? Additionally, this can serve as a guilt-free way of emptying your bookshelves or preparing them for your next book. If you donate books and cannot see them the next time you visit your local library do not be surprised. They might have been sold in a library book sale as part of a fundraiser or charity event. Since libraries aren’t all about books, you can also donate other relevant materials you might have at home.

4. Use the space provided by the library

Libraries feature group study spaces, innovative technologies, collections, and supportive staff. Libraries have all the tools so visitors can advance their businesses, careers, or personal goals. They also feature spaces for formal and informal meetings. The room arrangements in libraries are designed to encourage people to start conversations with other readers and visitors, creating a friendly and open atmosphere.

5. Volunteer your time

Volunteering is a great way to physically show support for libraries. Most libraries are always looking for at least one extra pair of hands to help them regularly, especially if those volunteers can be depended upon at regular hours. Libraries also have seasonal programs, special events, or important occasions that require volunteers’ help. Depending on their personal skillset and interests, a volunteer can do anything, from cataloging books to organizing and running events.

Volunteering also gives you a great opportunity to gain insights into what exactly is needed for running a library and all the things the library does for your community. This knowledge will help you promote your library’s programs for your family, friends, or even strangers on the street. Volunteering also gives you valuable work experience and looks great on your CV!

6. Borrow DVDs, games and CDs

As mentioned earlier, books aren’t the only things libraries offer. Don’t underestimate their non-book collections, and definitely take advantage of it! Whether you need some specific educational videos, audio files to listen to for a weekend road trip, or just a game to play, your local library might just have what you need.

7. Attend their classes and events

Keeping the theme of not books related resources, have you ever checked out the different classes and events your local library hosts? It is always worth checking out your library’s website to see what events or classes they have planned next! There classes can vary between multiple options, such as coding, gardening, yoga, drumming, chess, knitting, the list goes on.

The welcoming nature of libraries, combined with the fact that the classes are often free, means that they gather a diverse group of people whom you can interact with, and learn not only about a particular subject but also different cultures. Attending various classes and events organized by libraries will also support the hard work they do for communities and will increase the likelihood of them staying essential to society for many years ahead.

Can you imagine how boring it would be to live in a city without a library? Individuals who follow these 7 steps, while not doing anything world-changing, can greatly help their local libraries. Local libraries serve important functions, that must stay alive for as long as people need them, be that a storehouse of knowledge, an access point to information and learning materials, or a hub for community activities.

We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!

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Greta Laustaskaite

Greta is a content writer for the Princh Library Blog. Princh, which is a printing solution designed specifically for and with public libraries, makes a consistent effort to provide advocacy for libraries and library professionals. The Princh blog discusses library specific topics that inform their readers of library trends, insights, technologies and more.

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404, 2024