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Natural Awakenings

People’s University: Celebrate Libraries' Contributions to Community

Apr 01, 2009 03:00AM

Celebrate National Library Week in April.  Public, academic and special libraries play an essential role in our communities. As Project for Public Spaces reports, “If the old model of the library was the inward-focused reading room, the new one is more like a community front porch.”

These welcoming institutions not only foster the habit of reading in both adults and children, they teach us how to become savvy in accessing, evaluating and using information. With almost all U.S. public libraries now online, these continuing bastions of democracy provide access to onsite and global resources to all people, regardless of their ability to pay. Onsite English as a Second Language classes support immigrants in becoming productive citizens. Libraries also increasingly serve as the social gathering places that early public library advocate and builder Andrew Carnegie envisioned. They can even be a fulcrum for renewal in cities and neighborhoods.

Check with local libraries for schedules of special events, classes, lectures, book talks, children’s programs and other activities.

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