Today is the 100th birthday of Your Home Public Library in Johnson City, New York. In honor of that birthday, I rerun this post about my love of libraries from last year, when I wrote it for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. But first, a couple of bonus pictures in honor of YHPL's birthday which were not part of the original post.
Happy birthday, YHPL!
Rather, I decided to blog about the place I'd rather be than anywhere in the world. A public library.
|Courtesy NYPL Digital Collections, free to use|
Every Thursday except during the summer, I would visit the bookmobile that stopped by my housing project. On the last visit before summer vacation, they would allow us to take out as many books as we wanted, and they were not due until September.
For me, Heaven!
Libraries were a haven to me. They helped me become who I am today.
Now, libraries are in danger, such as another local library in Vestal, New York.
We all take local buildings and institutions for granted. After all, they are there, we pass them every day, and we take them for granted. Even I do, sometimes. I pass this building five days a week, sometimes six. But I rarely use this particular library. I should (and, since I first wrote this post, I have started to.)
This building was built partly in 1885 and partially in 1920. It's a small library, but full of local history. When you enter, in fact, there is a small display of local history - a portrait, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia.
There is evidence of an earlier era wherever you turn in the small rooms. It is not an easy library to use, I'll admit. The Binghamton library, where I work during the week (built in 2000), is modern and spacious. But Your Home Library has character. And fireplaces.
Here's another one of the fireplaces.
And one more view of the building.
Local public libraries face many challenges today. Their funds are constantly being cut. People are loathe to vote in the tax increases they need to survive. But these libraries are, increasingly, so much more than a place where you can walk in with a card and walk out with one or more books to read. They provide internet access, wi-fi, computers for those who don't own one, job hunting services, e books, CDs and DVDs, magazines, free tax preparation done by volunteers, free databases, and so much more. One of our local libraries even features yoga classes on Fridays.
In fact, the photo I started this post with is from a digital collection of the New York (City) Public Library, and anyone can down load it, free of charge.
As I used to say in the 60's, "isn't that awesome?"
What is your local library worth to you?