your local library can help you find your way. Start by going to www.vermontlibraries.org/mylibrary. You’ll find links to all kinds of Vermont libraries. You can watch commercials for Vermont libraries and discover interesting facts. Then find out what is going on at your library. Visit its website and visit it in person.
Libraries have always been known as places for education and lifelong learning. People come to libraries to support their formal education, for help in finding new jobs, tackling projects and learning new languages. In classes or individually, librarians teach people how to use technology, sort through the information available on the web, do quality research, create resumes, set up email accounts, search databases and websites. A variety of resources are available to meet your needs: books, magazines, Internet access, databases, DVDs, audio books and music. You have access to almost any information through the nation-wide interlibrary loan system or a subscription database, no matter how big or small your home library is.
Libraries have seen exciting changes in the last generation. Ask people who use libraries regularly what they are like. They will tell you libraries are no longer the mausoleums of silence and dusty classics they remember from their youths. Today’s libraries are now also places to connect with your community or just have fun. How many public places provide a free and welcoming environment to people of all ages, political persuasions, religions, classes, races and abilities to come together? You don’t even have to be a reader to use a library. You can catch up with family across the world using a library’s computer. You can borrow movies, puzzles, games and audio books. You can visit with your neighbors and catch up on local news. Free programs on many topics are available for all ages. The traditional story times and lectures are now supplemented with movies, classes in art, cooking, computers, writing, storytelling, gardening, dance, fly tying and more! Many organizations use public libraries’ meeting rooms, partner with libraries to improve services for town residents and partner with libraries to disseminate information about community services. Some libraries display collections, art and museum exhibits or loan more unusual items, such as museum passes, puzzles, puppets, art, costumes, AV equipment and garden tools!
You don’t even have to go to a library building anymore to access its services. You may even access a library service in the middle of the night. Libraries offer articles, electronic books, electronic audio books and access to their catalogs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Vermont libraries also make thousands of off-site visits each year. They deliver to the home-bound or run bookmobiles in neighborhoods and provide books and programs to daycares, senior centers, hospitals and schools.
Libraries can help you improve your future, escape your present or connect to your community. Vermont libraries can take you anywhere. Start the journey at your library today! Go to www.vermontlibraries.org/mylibrary.
President, Vermont Library Association
Director, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library (Williston)