National Library Week

Dana Ryals, Librarian

As a child, I loved the adventure of going to the public library in the big city. My mom would bring us on Saturday mornings, once a month or so, as our small town had no library to call its own. The drive into town wasn’t that long, but long enough for a small child (or a back seat full of them) to get antsy. After a while, we pulled into the city, which seemed magical as the streets were numerous and went on and on. Large shopping centers, endless restaurants, a long winding river, and a big college; it all intrigued me. I remember looking out the window pretending that I was flying over, around, and between everything. When we finally made it to the library, I remember the feeling of awe at seeing such a large, beautiful brick building. We stayed all morning browsing the shelves, lost in our own worlds, and went home with our arms full of the treasures we found.

The joy I felt for libraries as a child is still with me when I enter a library, and it is in the spirit of remembering that joy that I am writing about today. Every April, our whole country takes a week to really appreciate libraries and all they do for us with National Library week. Do you have joyful library memories like mine? Do you visit your Madison College or local public library? Are there friends, family, or young people in your lives that you are sharing that adventure with the way my Mom did for me? No matter what your relationship with libraries, they will be as thrilled to see you, as you will be, once you discover all that they have to offer.

Libraries have been finding new ways to keep their services open to everyone over the past year, both physically and virtually. I have three ways you can support your libraries for National Library Week without even leaving your house. First, visit your library online and discover some of the resources you can find – maybe you can get lost in a good eBook or find a streaming film to watch. Second, follow your library on social media to keep up with the programs and services available – and then participate. Third, if you have questions, Ask! Librarians love answering questions and helping people find the information that they need. Because here is the thing – I became a librarian out of my love of libraries and all that they offer, and I don’t think I’m alone. This April, take a moment to find some joy at your library, and thank your librarian for what they do. Happy National Library Week to all the incredible librarians that have helped me along the way and will help me in the future!