The library opens the whole world to everyone.
A mechanic friend of mine was struggling to figure out the wiring system of my van when he stopped. He had to go with his wife to the library since she hadn’t had a card in a while. He rolled his eyes and I went home. About an hour later I get an excited phone call from my friend, he’s talking a mile a minute and I can barely make out what he is saying. He took a breath and I told him to slow down. He explained to me that he found databases after databases full of wiring schematics. He spent the next 2 hours poring over databases and books explaining every car thing you could think of. When he came home he walked over to my van, popped the hood, tweaked and soldered a few wires and the whole van came to life. He tipped his hat and said, “Courtesy of your local library.”
I laughed so hard I fell to the ground. But this is testament to the power of a library and the power of libraries in general. Libraries are keeps of knowledge and understanding. Without libraries we lose our connection with the past, and the ability to read for millions.
See, those on a fixed income or those that live in places that aren’t too desirable rely on libraries for books, school assignments, computer access, and a quiet place to be. Remembering when I was a kid, the library was my safe haven. My neighborhood had drive bys, homicides out my front door, rapes, killings, and abuse of all kinds in all the families. Addiction, drugs, death, and violence were normal in our lives. But when I got on my bike and rode north, the sidewalks turned from gun shops and pawn shops to strip malls and then green lined sidewalks and big houses. The streets were cleaned and the lawns manicured. A gunshot in this area would garnish 2 patrol cars. I would walk through the big glass doors into air conditioning and every story, magazine, movie, game, and book that a kid could want. Now there are even computers.
The library was there to teach me about the world, to teach me that there is peace and quiet, and that there is a different world out there.
A good friend of mine goes to the library 3 times a week to check her e-mail, pay bills, and apply for jobs.
Libraries are currently losing a lot of their funding. The only way they can combat these cuts is cut down on staff and cut down on hours. Right now, we are at the end of the hours that can be cut, or many libraries will have to go down to 4 days a week, That’s atrocious. In order to stave off this reality, they stop carrying certain books…book s that aren’t used or checked out much. It forces libraries to make deals with other libraries that they will get a book in hard cover and the other will get it in paperback.
Our libraries are in need desperately! They are the last stop on the road to illiterate.
$50, so one library says, will sponsor 1 book. If you get 1 $7 coffee a day, you pay in coffee in one week what it would cost to sponsor a book forever.
Contact your local library and ask what kind of donation drive they are doing, how their funding is, and if they’d be interested in some sort of fund raising activity. Many times the libraries will give you their parking lot and very well might be able to help with the festivities in some way or another.
Sponsor a read athon with a $3 or so entry fee and they win a gift cert to the library store.
Car wash to raise funds.
Have a lemonade stand contest…kids bring their stands and their lemonade and people buy from them. A percentage of the proceeds go to the library.
Start a papal or tweet donation program going.
Conduct a book drive to build the library stock. Publish books libraries are looking to purchase.
What other ways could libraries raise funds?