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More on why we need libraries

Friends of the Lincoln Library column
By: Jeri Chase Ferris Special to The News Messenger
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This column is written with thanks to Lora Finnegan, who is taking a summer break from the Friends of the Lincoln Library (FOLL) column. Thank you, Lora, for your dedicated, informative work for the Friends of the Lincoln Library. Now, to continue the theme Lora raised with her brother who asked, ?Who needs libraries?? ¬ A man here in Lincoln told me recently that he didn?t see the need for libraries in this age of Internet access. I was taken aback, and only later (of course), did I come up with some appropriate responses. Why do we need libraries? Let me count the ways. First, though, a caveat or two. I love my iPad. I love my Nook. I love my laptop and my cell phone. I?m an author ? I do use the Internet ? a lot. But back to libraries. We know that not everyone has a Nook or Kindle. Not everyone has an iPad. Unfortunately, not even a computer. There are families whose money must go to rent and food and medicine before books. Kids need school libraries and public libraries. Kids need our Twelve Bridges Library. (They need our Carnegie Library too but that?s another column.) Kids needs books they can take home and curl up with. They need shelf after shelf of books, free books and that is what a library is. Adults who are searching for jobs need libraries. They need job search computer software. We Friends have provided two software programs for the Twelve Bridges Library: Brainfuse?s ?JobNow? and ?HelpNow.? These programs were purchased with funds raised by the Friends (that?s you!). Kids and adults who are doing research need libraries, especially if they don?t have their own Internet access. Not only do researchers need the library?s computers and the library?s Internet access, they need the library?s librarians. A librarian is the researcher/reader/author/student/teacher/parent?s best friend. It?s a given that library use creates better readers, higher achievers, more successful workers. We need a way for those successful workers to actually find work and a way for students to access advanced on-line help. That?s why the Friends purchased the Brainfuse job-search (JobNow) and homework help (HelpNow) mentioned above. Contrary to what the man at the beginning of this column said, libraries are in the 21st Century. Libraries provide online resources, e-book downloading and 24/7 access to library services in addition to plain old-fashioned books. And librarians. To quote from the executive director of the American Library Association: ?Sure, the library is an old fashioned concept. So is equal opportunity. So is democracy.? Well said. But what else would we expect from a librarian? On the calendar Next Friends of the Lincoln Library board meeting is May 8, 2 p.m., Fir Room, Twelve Bridges Library. All Friends members are welcome! In fact, you are more than welcome; you are needed. Don?t forget the art exhibit that opened April 28 and runs through Thursday, May 17. It?s open 1 to 5 p.m. in the library?s Willow Room and features 29 paintings by renowned Lincoln artists. The paintings, which include abstract, floral, landscape, seascape and animal portraits, are all for sale. Don?t miss it. Coming up on Saturday, May 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is the Gold Country Authors Faire at the Auburn Library, 350 Nevada St., Auburn. Don?t miss this either! In addition to great workshops on publishing and promotion for authors and others interested in these topics, there will be storytime sessions, author talks (including mine), crafts, music and food. What a win, win day! This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. Have a question? Contact the Friends at 434-2404, at friendsofthelincolncalibrary.org or email FOLL@live.com. Author Jeri Chase Ferris is a member of the Friends of the Lincoln Library. This column may or may not necessarily express the opinions of The Lincoln News Messenger.