Love a Library!

Here at Sacramentality we love libraries. Not just because this author happens to work for the California State Library or because the Sacramento Public Library was integral to Nicolas’ Luella series, but because, quite frankly, libraries are great!

That is a statement that the large majority of American adults agree with … even if most of us haven’t set foot in one in the last year. The truth is, I probably went about six or eight years between public library visits, when I last needed to get some information from a journal for research I was doing for a prior employer, to a few years ago, when I rediscovered all of the amazing things libraries are doing, both here in Sacramento and around the state, and started to realize they are so much more than just books (cue argument with myself about whether the phrase “just books” is appropriate). But the transition did recently lead California State Librarian Greg Lucas to ask, “What the hell is a 21st century library?

Since this is National Library Week, we at Sacramentality thought we might take the opportunity to remind you, our loyal readers, of the many, many ways that libraries contribute to our community, a few fun examples brought to you by the letter H:

  • Hacker Lab
  • Hangout on rainy days
  • Home to amazing celebrations of Dr. Seuss
  • Homework helper
  • Hub for data literacy
  • Huddle-space for community non-profits
    (Geez, he’s really stretching the “H” theme with this one …)
  • Heart of their community:

If you want the most rocking community center ever, it’s already there. It’s the library. ~ State Librarian Greg Lucas

The truth is that libraries provide the infrastructure to help overcome the educational gaps that drive so much inequality in our country. Whether helping adults achieve high school diplomas, English proficiency & literacy or completely opening a child’s world:

MeasureBCalifornia’s libraries collectively hold 82.2 million items, including about 6.7 million at the City of Los Angeles, an additional 5.7 million at the County, 5.3 million in San Diego, 3.1 million in San Francisco and, several notches down the list, 1.2 million, here in Sacramento. What our library lacks in sheer size, though, it makes up for in quality, with the average item checked out 6 times per year, sixth most in the state and second among relatively large libraries! (It’s a good thing we passed Measure B, that’s money well spent!)

It is no wonder then, that the Sacramento Public Library was nominated for the Oscar of the library world, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. While our wonderful Director Rivkah Sass may say, “being nominated again is an honor.”  And while we agree, “the nomination is validation of what the Library does for Sacramento, and that we continue to demonstrate excellence by opening new doors for the people in our community,” here at Sacramentality we cannot help but think that the Sacramento Public Library has not just earned the honor of nomination, but of bringing that medal home next month. Check out some of the great stories shared by dozens of folks from around Sacramento in the comments:

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My kids and I have fun, learn, read, and make new friends every time we visit our library! What a gift to those of us with young families, always looking for affordable, accessible, high-quality activities to do with our kids. Sacramento Public Library plays such a unique and irreplaceable role in our community. ❤️ #shareyourstory

So, dear reader, if like all of us at Sacramentality (along with most Americans), you love our libraries, I hope you will consider joining me in becoming a Friend of the Sacramento Public Library. For just $20 you can help support the great work the Friends do, expanding the collection, providing books to young readers and developing fun and educational programming for community members of all ages.

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