Tag: Public Libraries

9 Great Ways to Support Your Local Library

Don’t we all just adore public libraries? The old buildings, the selection, the smell of aging books. It’s a deeply comforting environment, and then when you leave, you can take books with you! They’re warm in the winter, they’re just about everywhere, and they’re full of possibilities. What can we do to give back a little?

 

Check Out Books

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Image via Mother Nature Network

And really, how can you help yourself? I walk into the library thinking I’ll just take a look around, but I always leave with more books than I can carry. If it’s bad weather or you don’t feel like going outside, you can get ebooks and audiobooks online from many library systems. It lets the government know people use the libraries, which helps them get funding!

 

Go To Events

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Image via London Library

Libraries have all kinds of events. Reading days, movie nights, classes and workshops. Want to watch an old horror movie, or learn excel, or meet an author? Check your library’s calendar of events and go to anything that seems interesting. Plus, it’ll make you cool! See above for how it helps.

 

Ask Questions

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Image via UCLA

Need a particular book or a book on a particular topic? You can also just ASK a librarian about upcoming events. Library use and attendance effect library funding, but so does engagement like asking questions. As long as it’s not too busy, ask for info or where a section or book is. Again, they take note of this to prove people use libraries.

 

Ask for Library Funding

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Image via New York Public Library

I can’t find an example, but I swear sometimes, when you go into your library, there are forms and petitions you can sign or fill out and mail or give to the librarians, saying libraries are useful and important, to show they’re needed and necessary. Ask your librarian if you don’t see anything! You can also do stuff like this yourself, but you know, if you’re there.

 

Spread the Word

Image result for having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card
Image via Quote Fancy

So true story, I got (lightly) bullied in highschool for reading LIBRARY books in the hallway, like that something for OLD people, but I still rep the library whenever I can. I find it especially ridiculous when people want to buy ebooks they don’t even know if they’ll like! I mean, buy books, but support the library too! Tell your friends.

 

Start a Book Club

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Image via Houston Public Library

This is also something that get stereotyped as not for cool kids, but what’s cooler than sharing books you love with your friends and then all talking about it, and learning their favorites? It’s cool stuff, it’s a great way to get exposure to new books and new genres you may never read otherwise. Plus, you can all check out the books, and maybe even meet at the library!

 

Volunteer

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Image via Reading Public Library

It seems obvious, but libraries always need volunteers! If you’ve got anything like time, fill out an application to volunteer, or go in person and ask what you can do. Some libraries also need teachers to run internet and literacy classes, or even just to read aloud to kids. But there’s lots to be done! If you have actual real life skills, you can probably put them to use.

 

Buy Library Merch

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Image via Brooklyn Public Library

Book nerd, but make it fashion. Okay, this photo has shirts, but there’s lots of stuff you can get from library stores! Totes, magnets, whatever you can think of, and all library themed! I get into trouble in museum stores, but library stores? Please. You’re going to have to DRAG me away. Not every library has a store, but most systems have them, so look it up ahead of time.

 

Buy Books

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Image via Events Time

Libraries also sell books sometimes! These are either old library copies which have been replaced or rendered obsolete, or they’re books people have donated, most of which aren’t really suitable for adding to the catalog, for whatever reason. But you can buy them! And the money supports the library. You can also donate to these kinds of sales.

 

Donate

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Image via Phoenix Public Library

Obviously, if you can, just actually donating helps a great deal. You can become a contributing member with a regular donation, or just give once. If you’re going to do the latter, wait until someone’s matching (many companies and organizations do this) so that your donation is used to the absolute best effect, no matter what you can actually give.

 

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Featured image via Smithsonian Magazine

The Free Library in Your Front Yard

We all love libraries, but if you’ve ever had to wade twenty minutes through the snow just to get your reserves, you might wish to have one closer to home. And it’s possible! With Little Free Libraries. And fear not! Whether you live in the forest or in Brooklyn, you can make little free libraries part of your life, and you should. What’s better than adding community libraries to the public ones?

 

Image via Snoop Charlotte

 

If you’ve got the resources and the space, you can start a library of your own whenever you want to. There are tons of designs and colors on their website, and you can put one anywhere you have two square feet of land and about four vertical. I’ve seen them tucked into gardens, hanging over wrought iron fences, and on the side of the road. Just donate a few books (or thrift them up) and you’re running a library. But if you’re renting, or restless, don’t despair. There are little libraries near you.

 

 

Image via Book Riot

 

Okay, so your library probably won’t be in a defunct phone booth, but the little hutches on the website are cute as it gets, and there’s nothing like getting lost on a cold night and stumbling across a tiny library draped in ivy. But you don’t have to just wander Brooklyn hoping to stumble across something magical (though I do recommend it if you have the time)—because they have a map of all their locations.

 

 

Image via Pinterest

 

There are over 90,000 locations in 90 countries, according to their website, but they can be few and far between in some areas. That’s why it’s so important to start new ones anywhere and everywhere possible! But don’t lose hope. There are two in my neighborhood, so if you’re in any kind of city, you’ll probably have decent luck, and it’s always worth a check either way. There are also sometimes free libraries in parks, so you might be able to find or start one that way. Wherever you live and whatever you read, the Little Free Library is a wonderful resource for book sharing.

 

 

Featured image via City of Princeton 

 

 

 


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The Library Made of Books

Libraries are some of the best places on earth. The quiet, the smell of old books, the nap corners. Maybe that’s just me. But regardless of why you love them, libraries are great for everybody. I love any branch, but some libraries take it a step further (or like a hundred steps). Take the central branch of the Kansas City Library in Kansas City Missouri, which is, in fact, made of giant books.

Image via Flickr

 

Okay, so it’s not really made of books, they probably don’t open, but the library is open seven days a week. But the library’s beauty doesn’t stop there. Books are featured on the inside too, as they should be. I like a dark, labyrinthine space as much as anyone, but this library goes another direction entirely, as it does on the outside.

Image via Kansas City Public Library

 

Aesthetics on point, books on point, and a lot of services to help the local community. Obviously the decor is enough to lure in any book lover, but not only is this an excellent building and an excellent library, it also offers a long list of additional resources for visitors. Dozens of computers, wifi, video conferencing, study rooms, event spaces, and more.

Image via Architecture Magazine

 

When someone broke this news on Tumblr (this might be generous – the central part of the building is historic), someone actually in Kansas City did us all a solid and went by, taking photos and investigating services. You can read the entire saga here. If you’re in Kansas City, stop by. The rest of us are jealous.

 

 

Featured image via Reader’s Digest

Do You Know About The Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library?

Ever heard of the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library? It’s a marvelous sight to behold.

 

A book from the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library
Image Via Getty Images

Located in Delhi, India is the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library. It’s a “community library containing about 15,000 books in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and even Hindi” that serves as a light guiding those in need. Tucked away in old Delhi, the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library might physically be a tiny space, but its impact is huge.

In addition to housing a 700-year-old commentary on logic in Arabic, the Library also has old manuscript in Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Hindi, and English. A wealth of information, the BBC notes that the Library “plays host to poetry readings and lively discussions on art, culture and politics”.

 

Interior of the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library-1
Image Via thehindu.com

It’s a place where men and women are equal, where there are no rules regarding noise level. In fact, conversation is encourages. It’s place to discuss ideas.

 

 

Old Delhi
Image Via Times of India

Considering the surrounding area has “a pervading sense of stagnancy” that’s led by the “apathetic attitude of the administration,” the Shah Waliullah Library serves as a light guiding those in need towards it.

With regards to its history, Mohammed Naeem, President of the Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA) recalls how he and others “[wanted] to change the fate of our locality. We thought there was no better way to do this than by opening a library.”

 

Interior of the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library-2
Image Via Reddit

They did so in 1990, registering as the Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA). Immediately they go to work, started with newspapers and magazines from their homes before adding books from Sunday book markets.

 

A group of civil society leaders and social activists, at Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library,
Image Via Hindustan Times

From there, everything just grew and grew. In regards to the name, Hindustan Times writes that “Abdul Hadi, a local resident who was then a clerk with Jamia Millia Islamia University, suggested they name the library after the revered Islamic scholar Shah Waliullah”.

From there, The Shah Waliullah got many donations, many books coming “in backpacks, on bicycle carriers, in cycle rickshaws, tied up in cloth; new, jumbled, torn”.

 

Three people at the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library-1
Image Via REHANHIST.COM

And that’s how the Hazrat Shah Waliullah Public Library came to be. Home to about 20,000 books, the store no,w according to Mohammed Naeem, “[provides] extra classes for children around here, supply books, give free counselling and even apply to colleges and often pay their fees”.

You can visit their Facebook here!

 

 

Featured Image Via Indian Times