The Union Recorder

Homepage

January 24, 2014

Public libraries often undervalued resources

MILLEDGEVILLE — Recent turnover at the local level brings into focus an undervalued resource in the community — the public library system. As the Twin Lakes Library System board of trustees begins its search for a new executive director, we should be reminded that local libraries add value to the quality of life in communities they serve.

Take for instance the recent uproar in another community, Twiggs County, when its brand new library facility was shuttered and later reopened by the local county commission. Many residents voiced concern, as this resource was temporarily lost.

In rural communities where resources are limited for many residents, public libraries provide access to information capital, both seen and largely unseen, by many of us.

The volume of foot traffic that moves through the local libraries would likely surprise many of us. Yet, while the local library system receives state monies in addition to city and county funding, in recent years, funding has been challenged in a number of areas and the local libraries haven't been excluded from the cuts.

The funding reductions present an unfortunate irony where the same economy that resulted in job losses has impacted funding for services that many, particularly the unemployed, are utilizing at an even higher rate as they seek new employment.

Still many of us often neglect their value, and more often than not, the importance of reading and literacy in our lives.

According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, nearly a quarter of American adults have not read a book in the past year. In fact, the same report indicates that the number of American non-readers has more than tripled since the 1970s.

With so many beneficial programs for local young people that libraries provide afterschool and during summers, these types of statistics set quite a poor example for them to follow with regards to reading for pleasure and library usage.

We must realize that libraries, through collaborations with other agencies, can quite often play an important role in helping to bridge socio economic gaps, improve literacy rates and enhance a sense of community.

The library is not only a place for books and magazines for many in the local community it's also a resource for computer access, tutoring and job research materials. It's a place of learning and discovery in summers for local youth when school is out and a refuge for many. Georgia public libraries also provide access to the entire collection of the statewide PINES catalogue as well as downloads of a very broad selection of electronic books for folks who cannot get to the building, brining the library to them.

The local libraries and the programs they provide can't exist in their greatest form without our support, and their efforts have too great an impact to do without.

Public libraries, and in the much broader conversation, literacy and access to it, are powerful and even transformational. Even in today's society as the written word can be accessed in numerous forms, libraries still play a vital role in that transformation. They have the potential to open doors and greatly impact lives — if we tap into these resources and utilize them to their fullest potential.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
07-24 Gas leak 2.jpg

School staff were evacuated from Midway Elementary School around 1:30 p.m. due to a gas leak from a nearby tap station. Highway 441 South was closed for approximately an hour as Baldwin County Fire Rescue personnel and Southern Natural Gas employees worked to determine the cause of the leak.

Features
SRC 5.jpg

The Teen Club, as part of the Twin Lakes Library System's Summer Reading Club, and Reference Supervisor Dabney Kinser do candy science experiments to finish up the science themed reading club experience.

Business
IMG_5569.jpg

Local dancers Shaveta Waller and Synethia Brookins are stepping up to the plate with their new dance business Sensational Steps. The two women provide dance lessons at affordable prices as well as a positive environment for youth interested in all areas of fine arts.

Local Sports
Editorials
Columns
Letters
Local Weather Radar
Poll
AP Video
Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'