Public libraries have been and will continue to be vital to our society because they are the only institution in America that provides free education to all, regardless of age, background, or socio-economic status.
In the recent past, libraries provided education to their users by providing information about subjects, and did so almost solely through books. Today, libraries still provide information to users through books (and eBooks, newspapers, magazines, etc.), but today’s library has embraced the much broader definition of education, which includes actively teaching and providing enlightening experiences.
Every day, public libraries teach people how to use technology and locate trusted and valuable resources. Younger members are taught the foundations of reading, including comprehension, vocabulary, and rhythm and rhyme through the various literacy classes that libraries provide.
Further, the public looks to the library for enlightening experiences. These include seminars, talks of a cultural or historical nature, book discussion groups, and sometimes even musical performances.
Embracing the broader definition of education, today’s public library is a place where the community comes to gather. Today’s public library builds and binds the community, providing vital services to all, including seniors, teens, and those with special needs.