Your Local Library and You

Most college students spend the majority of their time studying in the library. For students at Saint Leo University, the library has resources like free coffee and comfortable quiet places to study. With two main floors full of resources for research papers and one floor for non-academic based reading, students can find everything they need and more. This is great, but when was the last time the average adult past college age stepped into their public library?

According to the National Endowment For The Arts, on average 43% of adults read for fun. This means that after school, most students won’t pick up a book that is not work or school related and as a result of this, and in a world of technology, libraries are being seen as less and less important. Not only do less and less adults read for pleasure, but many of the books you can find in a library are instantly downloadable on a kindle or a tablet.

So why should people visit their local library? Why is the local library still important past those college years?

For people without regular access to technology, the public library provides a resource for  the wealth of knowledge found both in print and in the online world. It allows for those who can’t afford to buy their books a safe place to borrow, read, and delve into the world of stories.

The public library also holds regular events for people from preschool age to the elderly. The Hugh Embry Library right here in downtown Dade City holds regular weekly events ranging from the Drone Club to Preschool Story Time. For those looking for some way to get out and have fun, or somewhere to allow their kids to socialize, the library is a fun and safe place to do that.  One of their best events happens every other Saturday, where children are invited to read to therapy dogs, though all ages are welcome!

Not only does the library provide resources and access to information and technology, as well as a social space for people to gather, it also promotes a love for reading. For the generation now in college, lots of us grew up loving series like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. Many of us still hang on to books and know them as a comfort, or a place to escape to.

We are the ones that need to support our local libraries, and promote reading. Whether it be in a kindle, tablet, or print book, reading can reduce stress and keep cognitive function working effectively.

Eventually, libraries will morph with the changing of the world. They will become updated, more technologically based, and printed books will be a thing of the past. But until then, appreciating them, and utilizing libraries for the boundless resources they offer, is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.

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