Happy National Library Week! Each April, the American Library Association sponsors a week devoted to the celebration of the libraries. I am a regular at my local library and believe they are a vital piece of the community. In honor of National Library week, I wanted to share a few ways you can support your local library.
Check out books! Or movies or CDs or ebooks or magazines – This may seem obvious, but all of this user data can show that libraries are a necessity to the community when they go out and ask for funding.
Go to events – You may assume library events are limited to stodgy book clubs or children’s storytime. Not the case! Just recently we went to a Game of Thrones themed trivia night. I’ve also seen historical discussions, author events, game nights, teen fandom debates, paint nights, and much much more.
Use AmazonSmile – When you go to the website, https://smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a small percentage of your purchase to the charity of your choice. This does not affect the price of the items you buy, but you do need to specifically use the AmazonSmile website each time. We buy through our AmazonPrime account practically every week, so I love this option. Even though the individual amounts are tiny, they add up over time!
Use your workplace’s matching gifts program – Some corporations offer a matching gifts program that will double any donation you make to a certified charity. At my workplace, there’s an internal website devoted to the program. I searched for my library, made a donation with my credit card, and it was matched automatically! It’s worth investigating, especially if you’re already planning to make a monetary donation.
Attend used book sales – Library book sales are an absolute win win situation. The books are often $1-$2 and you can find a wide variety of selections. Plus, the sales go directly to the library! Also consider donating some of your own used books for others to purchase and enjoy.
Become a member – In my experience, most local libraries I’ve used (I think I’m up to a running total of at least 5 now) have some sort of Friends of the Library program. You typically donate a designated amount to join for a year. This sometimes gives you early access to book sales(!!) or other events and you can participate in decision making meetings.
Ask about legislation – Government funding is a vital part of keeping a library running. Periodically check in with your librarians to find out about any upcoming regulations, budget adjustments, or other government decisions that may affect your local library. Then go vote or contact your legislatures to tell them your opinion!
Hopefully this gives you a few ideas about how to support your local library! Share any other thoughts in the comments.