This is National Library Week. Public libraries serve an invaluable function in our communities. Long considered "the People's University," public libraries provide the basics for self-education, and also often provide the basic research information for students at online colleges. Public libraries often also act as community centers, with space for tutors and students to meet, whether those students are high school or college students trying to master new material, immigrants learning English as a second language, adult literacy classes, or some other form of learning. These days public libraries are the Internet access point for those who do not have Internet access at home. People can submit resumes, read email, do research, or simply keep in touch with family and friends on social media.
Public libraries are often a first exposure to literature for children. Story hour is an American tradition. Neighborhood children come in to pick out books and listen to someone, a parent, a library employee, or a special guest, read a story aloud. The only political press release I received acknowledging National Library Week is from Montgomery County"
“Reading is a solid foundation on which to build a child’s education and a great way to spend quality time with your family,” said Josh Shapiro, chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners. “I urge everyone to support this effort and take time to explore their local library.”
If you haven't visited your local public library in awhile, this is a good impetus to stop in and see where some of your tax dollars go, though libraries have taken some big funding cuts lately so the hours might be shorter than last time you checked.