A few words from our Secretary, Joetta Russell…

li·brar·y
noun /-brərē/ /ˈlīˌbrerē/  
libraries, plural
  1. A building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or refer to
    • – a school library
    • – a library book
  2. A collection of books and periodicals held in such a building or room
    • – the Institute houses an outstanding library of 35,000 volumes on the fine arts
  3. A collection of films, recorded music, genetic material, etc., organized systematically and kept for research or borrowing
    • – a record library
  4. A series of books, recordings, etc., issued by the same company and similar in appearance
  5. A room in a private house where books are kept
  6. A collection of programs and software packages made generally available, often loaded and stored on disk for immediate use
To the world, the term “Library” is defined as a building housing a collection of books kept for use, but not for sale.  But, to me, it means much, much more!

So many people get a picture of a library being stuffy, quiet, boring, school related, hateful librarians, or the MTV show, ”Silent Library”.  Libraries are quite full of resources, entertainment, movies, music, etc.; via both media and/or a live person.  There is internet use, tutoring over many, many subjects, competitions, and so much more.  The greatest part is that it is all absolutely FREE!  Have you priced books lately?  How about the cost to rent a movie?  Even Red Box adds up over time.  What about going to a movie theater?  The cost of admission is enough to rent twenty movies from Red Box or four movies via Pay Per View.  We haven’t included the cost of concessions yet.  The news states our economy is heading for another recession, then it’s time people revisit what has been available all along, free resource use with friendly staff and volunteers to help guide you along if you have questions.

I know of people over the past two years that have lost jobs, homes, cars, etc.  They are trying to rebuild their lives and for some learning to budget for the first time in their lives.  For others, they never quite make enough money to get ahead, let alone afford entertainment of any kind.  In both instances, and all in between, your local library can offer the expensive internet use, job searches, resume help, story time for young children, movies to check out and watch from home, and so much more.  Recently when talking to our local Catoosa Librarian, she shared stories about people that truly touched my heart.  Patrons have come to the library in search of dreams, hope, inspiration, and a caring, supportive voice.

There are other opportunities offered at our local Catoosa Library that have went unmentioned, such as, volunteer opportunities, membership to the Friends of the Catoosa Public Library Foundation, Summer Reading Program, and so much more, I am sure I have failed to mention.

Being part of the Friends of the Catoosa Public Library Foundation, gives a person opportunity to have a voice and help our library grow.  In return the Catoosa Community and surrounding areas can prosper, thrive, flourish, and excel.  FOL helps support local libraries when their budget comes up short, when there is a need for new books, growth, and so many other areas of need.  Our local Catoosa FOL group currently is working on fundraisers:  Arts & Craft Sale in October, Breakfast with Santa in December, Book Sale in April.  They also help put together cultural events/classes:  Basket weaving and jewelry making both in September.  FOL are always open to new members, new ideas, and new perspectives.

We do a lot for our children, tweens, and teens, BUT we have other groups with needs as well:  People with vision and/or hearing challenges, language barriers, literacy challenges, etc.  If we are able to meet all of these needs, plus some, then the library’s need are more books, audio media, building expansion, storage, staff, and needs I cannot fathom since I do not work there.

On a personal note, my children and I have always enjoyed visiting our local library.  They become excited over what they have found.  Always new books they didn’t realize existed.  With new books comes new knowledge.  In fact there are more times than not, that my children, well my teens/young adults, become quite giddy with what they find at the library.  Recently my daughter found a book of 14,000 quotes.  We I finally located her in the library; she was criss-cross applesauce on the floor reading away.  My son, by the time I found him, he had already checked out two movies and moved on to the internet.  For me, this time around, I was there helping the FOL.  Normally I find and check out more books than I can read in the time period allowed.  I try to write down what books I want to get next time and yet go back and do the routine all over again.  If that isn’t bad enough, I get books on audio in addition to what I check out to read!  My dad went with us one time, interesting story.  He was looking over the Louis L’Amour books and an older gentleman came over and struck up a conversation because the man said, “I donated those books”.  My dad and he talked for quite a while.  I was glad for him since it is hard for my dad to get out and about at times.

My point to all of this, just visit your local library again.  Look at it with new eyes.  Look at the opportunities waiting for you, your children, tweens, teens, young adults, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, neighbors, the list is endless.  Reading or listening to a book helps your imagination.  Your imagination works your brain.  Remember, your brain needs to be exercised as well.  But that is another blog on another day.  In the end, communicate your needs to the Catoosa Library, your local library, or a Friends of the Library member; so that we may all better serve you.  Please take time to volunteer, whether for a day/event or for a lifetime, any volunteered time is appreciated.

Until next time…
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