When I first started this Valentine’s Challenge, I hoped to inspire daily activism to support kids and schools AND to challenge myself as a new blogger to get more active with my writing. I have had so many interesting conversations with local and far-away community members concerned about education and am back in the writing groove. One of the bloggers who visited my site writes ParentsDesk, an eclectic collection of parent resources and articles spanning from NCLB waivers to Beyonce and Jay-Z’s recent baby photos.
As part of my perusal of this blog, I ran across an un-surprising but still concerning article about libraries: The Death of the Public Library? And my topic for today immediately became “Love Your Library.” As a little girl, my mother used to take me weekly to library story time, and I was always an avid reader. Continuing the tradition, my now 10-month-old was enrolled in the Summer Reading Program at just 3 months of age.
The Multnomah County Library system is known for its award winning collection of books and services (amazing library staff) for years. Their programming for children includes storytimes, afterschool homework help, and other arts and literacy activities. But what many people don’t know is that the library also supports schools through helping with research, assists parents with taxes, runs reading groups, and so much more. Here are some ways to show our libraries more love:
- Volunteer at a local branch
- Buy books from the Title Wave Bookstore
- Keep informed about the upcoming 2012 Library Levy that will be on the May ballot
Yes, you read that right…the library levy. Keep your ears and eyes open for any information about what will be hitting ballots in May. While our library system is used by so many and is applauded across the nation, we still do not have a stable, ongoing source of funding! If you support our libraries, get active and spread the word.
And while you’re at it, show some love to the local school libraries in your school district. Many school librarians have been cut or reduced to part-time at multiple schools. How can you help? Vote to increase school funding when you get a chance AND call your local school to see if you can volunteer at its library. They often need shelvers, story time readers, and donations of books!
Besides wanting to build support for public libraries, I think it’s also important to remember that even if a program receives awards and is known as something positive in the community, it may still need additional funding and support. Never stop supporting the things that work — it is up to us to demand that they continue on as pillars in our communities!