Most of us think of libraries as buildings that house endless shelves of books, but they offer so much more than the opportunity to indulge an interest in literature and research without blowing the budget. Libraries are an integral part of the community, and they offer a raft of benefits for adults and children.
One of the most advantageous aspects of public libraries is offering a place to gather and get together. Neighbors, friends, colleagues and family members can use the library as a safe, secure, inviting place to meet, and residents can also forge new friendships by participating in activities and events run by local libraries. Over 75% of people view their library as important and 93% believe having access to a library enhances community ties and relationships. One in five people have used a library to work on a project or activity with others.
Another important benefit of community libraries is affording access to useful, insightful, accurate information. Library programs provide resources that enable people to learn about everything from healthcare and welfare to employment schemes and opportunities. More than 80% of people have found resources at the library they would otherwise have been unable to access. The range of services on offer at public libraries is increasing all the time, and examples of modern programs include help with job applications, finding housing and learning English.
Libraries also help to promote literacy and they provide a platform for adults and children to learn and to take steps to achieve their potential. From summer camps and reading schemes to resources for small business development, everyone can benefit from a trip to the library. In this day and age, public libraries are also vital for enabling people to stay connected. Almost 70% of public libraries are the only free source of Internet access in the local community.
Infographic Produced By USC