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Celebrate National Library Week

April 11, 2014
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Letter to the Editor:

Libraries offer history of the past as well as offering possibilities for the future. They are a place for education, entertainment and socialization. Libraries offer free access to everyone and they bring opportunities to all. Libraries are becoming even more vital in this economy. Libraries have so much potential for helping to build and strengthen a community.

In Iowa, there are 543 public libraries. Tama County has nine outstanding public libraries that offer wonderful services to their communities. All of these nine libraries provide access to books, audio books, computers, wireless, periodicals, and a variety of movies. Some libraries provide websites with on-line catalogs, some provide meeting rooms for public use and some are keeping current with social media and digital access to materials. While all of these services are important, what may be even more significant is the relationship between library patrons, librarians and the additional services that they provide. Many libraries are a community center for people to gather and enjoy each other's company through book clubs, crafting clubs, puzzling, music programs, digital demonstrations, author events, cooking and baking clubs, technology training, book signings, art programs, coffee clubs, youth reading and craft programs, and educational programs. If you are not a current library user, you may be very impressed by what your library has to offer you. The public library that began with just checking out books is no longer "Just about the Book". It is a center for lifelong learning. The library gives people countless opportunities. It gives all of us the opportunity to educate ourselves, improve ourselves and experience new ideas. The library serves equally, offering access to materials and information to all people.

"Lives change @ your library" is the theme for the 2014 National Library Week that will be held April 14- 19 in each of your communities. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support all types of libraries - school, public, academic and special libraries.

The Toledo Library would like to invite you to visit the library during National Library Week. We will be Popping Open a Good Book with fun-filled events throughout the week. Please check our website or Facebook page for details.

Tama County libraries are funded primarily by our cities, our county, and the State of Iowa. Libraries are often supplemented by public and private donations and local grants. Bill and Melinda Gates are great supporters of libraries and have provided funding for Iowa libraries through many technology projects. Libraries are an investment in our future and the future of our citizens. And keep in mind; all successful investments require attention, time and resources to remain valuable and to grow. I encourage you to use your library, enjoy it, promote it and support it - they all serve our communities well.

Thank you for your support!

Jenny Bledsoe


Toledo Public Library



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