Commentary: Join us to celebrate National Library Week

Kristi Sadowski, Southington Public Library director
sadowskik@southington.org

This week, the Southington Public Library joins libraries of all types in celebrating the many ways libraries build strong communities by providing critical resources, programs and expertise. National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and communities.

Many libraries are the heart of their towns.

Library programs encourage community members to meet to discuss civic issues, work together using new technologies like 3D printing, or learn alongside one another in a variety of continuing education classes. Library staff partner with other civic and service organizations to actively engage with the people they serve, always striving to make sure their community’s core needs are being met.

National Library Week first became a national observance in 1958 and is sponsored by the American Library Association. The progression from their first ever theme of “Wake Up and Read!” to this year’s “Libraries=Strong Communities” shows the changing role of libraries. Libraries now are public spaces where people of all backgrounds can come together and connect.

Most notably, our knitting and coloring groups, Southington’s Sassy Skeins and Pages to Color, meet multiple times each week in the mezzanine. This is an opportunity for old friends to gather and for new friendships to be made in an unstructured drop in social activity. The same can happen around our puzzle table in the café, among parents before and after story times, for teens at the weekly anime club, or dance at a concert.

The library is also a great place for people to just meet with friends, work in a collaborative environment or share resources that may not be available at home—such as internet or computer access.

It does take more than just gathering space to build a strong community. Southington’s community, from Blue Knight pride to the Apple Harvest Festival, is already quite strong, and the library is proud to do its part. The Libraries Transform campaign affirms libraries build strong communities because they let everyone’s voice be heard and support those who need it most. If there is something you want to see offered, please let us know.

To celebrate National Library Week, the Southington Public Library would love to hear what you love about your library or libraries in general. Email us at southingtonpubliclibrary@southington.org, and you might see your reasons on our social media accounts.

To have a larger say in the future of the Southington Public Library, please join us for an interactive discussion and presentation on the role of the Southington Public Library in the community on Monday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please us at (860) 628-0947, option 5.

Kristi Sadowski is the director of the Southington Public Library. To learn more, visit them at www.SouthingtonLibrary.com.

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