Let's Be Awesome Together
August 17, 2012
Library. What does that noun bring to mind? Perhaps, an elderly person standing behind a desk wagging his or her finger at small children running amongst the stacks. Maybe, you think of someone busily reading through books in search of information for a research question. Or maybe, you even think of someone reading behind the counter waiting for the next customer to checkout. The one consistent thing about these stereotypes is that they’re always inside a Library—be it a public, private, or school library. But that’s not what we really are.
Now think of community. What comes to mind here? I think of groups of neighbors coming together for a barbeque, a parade held in downtown, or even festivals held on the 4th of July for the whole town to come together and celebrate. The main ideas I think of are unity, interaction, and involvement. A community is non-existent without these factors. But did you ever think of the Library as being a part of your community, rather than just in your community? That’s been the stereotype that for years now; libraries are in the community, in the neighborhood, and in the school— but no longer are we just in those places. We are a part of them, the community!
At MCPL, we’ve started to play our part in our community through classroom visits at elementary, middle, and high schools to engender a lifelong love of reading in young readers through great conversations and activities. We’ve visited our local YMCA, as well as the Parkville Coffee House and other businesses around our community to get to know them and find out just how we as an institution for knowledge and learning can serve our community members beyond our doors. We’re taking time on college campuses to lend a hand too—what programs can we offer students, what about helping international students become accustomed to living in the United States? The Library has so much to offer everyone in the community. How do we go about doing that? Through conversation?
We recognize that we are not a sterile institution full of old books and dusty shelves, no longer the passive library of yesteryear. We are a thriving entity of and for the people whom we serve, and we are always striving to find out better ways to do just that—from the individual with a question to the small business needing help in creating a business plan—maybe, we can even help you find a way to provide a new service to your customers. You never know!
We no longer only say come in to the branch for books and programs that we think you’ll enjoy, but let us come to you, too! It’s not just about statistics of attendance at programs but finding out, from you, what is relevant to you and what you need from us when you need it. So, if you have an idea but no idea how to go about getting it started, or you’d like to tag-team on it with the Library, please give us a call or tell any one of our staff members to get the conversation going. Here's a quick fun fact, for every $1 in taxes that goes to the Library, you receive $5 return in services provided by the Library—not too shabby. So what can we do for you? We’re always happy to discuss your ideas and find out just how to assist you in your endeavors. The community grows when all members take an active role.
Let’s be awesome together.