Mohawk Valley public libraries are everywhere!
Curious about the Mohawk Valley’s public libraries and how they impact you and your local community? Let’s take a closer look!
History of public libraries
It wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that public libraries took on a look familiar to most of us today that are now provided by taxes and built by the cities or states for the common person. From then until now, libraries around the world have become hubs for books, information, history, and community, giving access to knowledge previously only largely known to those in higher classes or stature. Libraries, in one form or another, have always been storehouses of information that humanity collected starting over five thousand years ago near the Fertile Crescent in Southwest Asia–where it is suspected to be the birth place of writing. These early “libraries” mainly consisted of transactional inventories and signify the end of pre-history and the beginning of history.
Public libraries today
Today, the public library is used by a wide variety of people from all walks of life for things such as children’s story times, wifi and computer use, borrowing a plethora of books and other media. Additionally, it serves as a gathering place for community meetings, projects and classes. Many libraries work hard on the preservation of history in text and records, and more! A large consideration of the public library system is the equity of access for all community members. Let’s look at a few of these items more in depth!
What we think of when we think of libraries
The classic use of the library is to borrow books or texts for and bring them home to read or study. You sign up for a library card and instantly have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of forms of fiction and nonfiction media including magazines, newspapers, reference sources, audio, videos and more at your finger tips!
With modernization we can now simply type the subject we wish to find into a reference computer and a list forms of the items available and a numerical code of where to find them on the shelf! If computer use isn’t something you’d prefer or the code of what you wish to find can’t be found, there is usually a helpful Librarian nearby for assistance as well.
Once you’ve found the books sufficient for your needs you check them out using your library card and take them home for the allowed time, then bring them back and start all over again! Late fees apply if you are late in bringing the content back, so make sure you check your due dates. If you prefer not to take any of the collection home, there are quiet spaces or rooms available in most libraries for reading on site.
A plethora of resources available
In conjunction with borrowing written and visual/audio media, most public libraries have computers for accessing online information and wifi. It’s a beautiful thing for people who may not have access to wifi or have computers in their home. Some people prefer to do computer research outside of the home where may not be conducive for the concentration needed. Job searching, general information searches, class work, online schooling, and more can be completed in a safe and stable environment. Roughly two-thirds of libraries now offer a selection of E-books on their website (or other lending library sites) that can be accessed through your library card on a variety of devices. This includes audio books and digitalized periodicals, as well. This is perfect for those who prefer it or who feel intimidated by taking physical copies home.
Public libraries offer communities places to meet and grow
The community aspect of public libraries has made a marked difference to so many. The classes, kid’s story time, crafting for all ages, and public meeting spaces that the library provides can be the difference between isolation and finding community. They also provide shelter to the homeless community to find temporary respite from the outside elements. Call, go in, or look online for your local library’s schedule of events to get connected! Apart from children’s story times, there are whole sections for kids of all ages to enjoy everything from picture books to a variety of reading level books, kids’ audio books, to pre-teen/teen chapter books! Kids’ computers house games and learning programs to use in the time you’re at the library.
From young to old, those from all corners are encouraged to join in on the fun at the Library! Opportunities for learning are endless with each aisle and room. Below is a list of the Public Libraries we have here in the local Mohawk Valley Area!