Books, Access, Community
June 19, 2012
When you see the word library, what do you think of? Books? Movies? Computers? All of these are true, but what unites these individual ideas is access. I’m sure that you’ve seen the word access a lot in regard to the Library lately, but I want to explain how your Library is actively making a difference in your community by providing access to its services.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of people in the Kansas City Metro area that have trouble making ends meet. Mom and Dad work two jobs just to keep food on the table and the lights on. Some can’t afford the luxury of Internet access and rarely have enough free time to visit or bring their children to the library. Summer Reading is important for the library, as it is for kids. Studies show that kids who read over the summer have a higher retention rate upon returning to school in the fall. How can kids be a part of the Summer Reading fun without transportation or Internet access? The answer is simple: bring the Library to them.
Throughout the month of June, the Red Bridge Branch has been travelling to the Center School District to provide students with library cards, books, SRP reading logs, and prizes. Setting up our books (600 of them), computers, and display in the back of the school library, we were excited for what was to come. I expected the program to pull in around 50 kids throughout June. I am happy to say, however, that we are only halfway through this endeavor and have already signed up nearly 100 students for cards, awarded numerous Summer Reading prizes, and checked out over 200 items! The first week was so busy that we didn’t even have time to take a break! We did our best and made it through.
To some, it may not sound monumental and the students may not remember us down the line, but visiting their school and giving them the tools to succeed is worth it. It’s also why I love my job. So, next time you see a Mid-Continent Public Library branch or it comes up in conversation, remember that we are not just about books and computers; we are about access and community.
Red Bridge Branch