14 April 2013

National Library Week, April 14 - 20

Beaufort County Library joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week, April 14–20.  It's a time to highlight the value of libraries, librarians and library workers who enrich and shape our communities.  Please share with others that you value the libraries of America as a group, particularly those in our state and county!

Libraries continue to be busier than ever helping families, students, seniors, etc., during these tough times. But as we all know by now, public libraries, school libraries, and academic libraries are still struggling to maintain budgets, staff, and resources to serve the needs of their communities.  

Libraries today are more than repositories for books and other resources. Often the heart of their communities, campuses or schools, libraries are deeply committed to the places where their patrons live, work and study.  Libraries are trusted places where community members can gather to reconnect and reengage to enrich and shape the community and address local issues. 

(If you've been keeping up with the BDC Facebook page, you will have learned some surprising statistics about our own Beaufort County Library's materials and services this week.  For those of you who love numbers, statistics regarding materials and services in South Carolina are posted online in the State Library Annual Reports at http://www.statelibrary.sc.gov/annual-library-statistics.) 

Librarians work with elected officials, small business owners, students, government employees and the public to discover what their communities needs are and meet them.  Beaufort County Library will soon start mapping out our institution's Strategic Plan, during which we will ask our community to tell us what they need.  Whether through offering e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers or those to support early literacy, librarians listen to the community they serve, and they respond as they are able by maximizing limited resources as cost-effectively as possible.

State, county, and oftentimes local governments provide much needed funding for libraries to provide public access to the Internet to everyone, critical databases for individuals and small businesses, homework help, and much more. Beaufort County Library is funded mostly by the taxpayers of Beaufort County.  This means that the individuals elected as representatives to the Beaufort County Council hold the purse-strings for all county agencies, including Beaufort County Library.  If you value the services and programs of our library system, please share that belief with them.

On the other hand, should you feel that the library system is not a positive asset to our community, please contact Jan O'Rourke, Assistant Library Director, and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee to share your thoughts about how the Library system can better serve you and your family.  Data collected will help form the 2014 -2017 Strategic Plan. 

No comments: