The first time you bring your child to the library to explore the children’s section, memories of the library you grew up with may flood your mind. It’s a proud day when your child is independent enough to have their own library card.
Public libraries survive on public funding, volunteers, and community support. Unfortunately, when budgets are tight, libraries are often the first targets for cuts. Here are three creative ways to support your local library.
Join the Friends of the Library
Many libraries have non-profit Friends of the Library groups that raise funds to support the library. These organizations sponsor events, advocate with local government for library support, and serve as a conduit and organizer for volunteers.
Planning events requires creativity, marketing, budgeting, and accounting skills. If your family has benefitted from the resources and amenities of your local library, joining a Friends of the Library group to offer your abilities is a great way to give back.
Present a Library Program
Another effective way to demonstrate your library’s value is to host programming that will attract new patrons. Make a list of all your skills and areas of expertise. Crafting makes for a great library program, but so does resume writing, gardening, and bike repair.
Channel your knowledge into a program for your local library. Write a proposal and submit it to your library’s programming director. You could offer a one-time program for an hour or a series of programs to present a larger block of knowledge.
Offer Your Carpentry and Design Skills
Many libraries want to improve their space, but they don’t have the funds to hire contractors to do it. Help out with your DIY skills. A sensory room can enhance the children’s area of a library and benefit kids with autism or sensory integration disorders. So create a puppet theater (and rally other parents to donate puppet characters) for kids to play with when they visit the library.
Build new shelving when your library is bursting at the seams with donated books. Create a more welcoming and spacious circulation desk, or build carrels for individual study. Just ask your library for its wish list, and there’s sure to be something on it that you could provide.
Supporting your local public library can fit into your life as a parent. You can donate books, buy books at the next library book sale, or volunteer to help with reshelving returned items.
Because reading and literacy are critical to your child’s education, you can also support education by helping teachers improve their classroom libraries. Ask how you can help build their collections! If you don’t see something that motivates you here, just ask your library how you can help. They’re sure to have something on their list that is right in your wheelhouse.