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3 Ways to Celebrate Library Lovers’ Month

February 10, 2015

February is Library Lovers’ Month, “a month-long celebration of school, public, and private libraries of all types. This is a time for everyone, especially library support groups, to recognize the value of libraries and to work to assure that the Nation's libraries will continue to serve.” (Source: http://www.librarysupport.net/librarylovers/)

A library is much more than a place to borrow books or to study. Libraries offer educational, civic, and entertaining programs and continue to play an important role within local communities. The

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently issued the 2012 Public Libraries Survey Report which found that in 2012, Americans made 1.5 billion trips to public libraries in the United States—the equivalent of more than 4.1 million visits each day. This research indicates there is still a high demand for the resources and services of the nation’s approximately 9,000 public libraries.

Here are some additional highlights from the report:

  • Fiscal Year 2012 was marked by a stabilization of post-recession declines in revenue, staffing, visitation, and circulation at the nation’s public libraries.
  • Libraries are offering more public programs, including programs for children, and are seeing greater program attendance than in previous years.
  • Library spending on electronic materials has doubled since Fiscal Year 2003.
  • More than 92.6 million people attended the 4.0 million programs at public libraries. Attendance showed a 1-year increase of 5.2 percent and a 10-year increase of 54.4 percent.

For anyone who loves their local library, these are encouraging statistics that are worth celebrating! Here are a few ways to celebrate Library Lovers’ Month during February:

Stop in for a visit

When was the last time you spent time in the library? If it’s been awhile, there’s no better time to stop in than during Library Lovers’ Month. Browse the shelves, check out a book or two, sit down and read, or attend an event. Fall in love all over again!

Volunteer

Libraries are working with limited budgets and resources, which is why volunteers of all ages are often welcome. Volunteer opportunities may include shelving books, tutoring and helping with homework, reading to children, and helping with adult programs.

Donate

Government funding often isn’t enough to allow libraries to offer the wealth of programs and services that community members are in need of. In addition to donating your time, consider making a tax-deductible gift to your library. Many libraries offer memorial programs, endowments, and other ways to show your support. Additional ways to donate include donating a book (or more) or buying magazine subscriptions for the library. Check with your local library to see what’s needed.

How do you plan on celebrating Library Lovers’ Month? Let us know in the comments!