Take Action for Libraries Day

It’s the kind of thing you may never think of until you need it. The unexpected happens, and suddenly you need a place to make copies of important papers, send faxes, and notarize documents. Disaster strikes and maybe you need a comfortable and safe place to sit down and recharge your batteries, both literally and figuratively, where you’re not expected to buy something first. Maybe you need a computer or wifi to apply for assistance. Maybe you need food. Or a social worker.
Some of us may never need  any of those things, at least for free. But about a month ago, when severe weather left a path of destruction through our state, CALS was one of several organizations that were able to immediately step up to provide all that and more for neighbors who were in need. Libraries across the country also provided essential services at the height of the pandemic. The reason we can take action so quickly is that public libraries are already doing those things every day.
Libraries make communities better because it’s the nature of the library to help, to want others to succeed and have access to information and resources. We take action when we see barriers and inequities that others refuse to acknowledge. So today, we’re asking library supporters everywhere to Take Action for Libraries.  

How can you take action for libraries? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Visit your local library branch. Browse the stacks, attend a storytime, sign up for a library card, and ask about the library’s collections and resources for families like yours.
  • Sign up for the library’s newsletter. It’s a great way to stay up to date on the latest books, programs, events, and resources being offered at your library. Sign up for ours here.
  • Follow the library on social media. It’s a lot like subscribing to the newsletter with the added bonus of highly shareable funny but informative videos and excellent memes. You can find us at @calibrarysystem on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
  • Make a donation. Donate an old favorite from your personal shelf to our regular used book sales. Donate your time as a volunteer. Donate formal wear or business attire for programs like the Prom Dress Drive or the Career Closet.
  • Make sure community leaders know you support the library. Speak up when others are saying things about libraries that you know aren’t true.
  • Ryan Davis stands wearing a grey sweater holding a bookAttend library board meetings. The CALS Board of Directors meets at noon on the last Thursday of every month at the CALS Main Library (100 Rock St.).

One of the many lessons contained in some of the books that censorship advocates are so afraid of us reading is that rights can be both hard to win and easy to lose. That’s partly why so much is at stake now. However, libraries have found that when supporters show up and speak up, together we’re louder than these recent organized efforts to spread misinformation. If the freedom to read is important to you, and if you support the ways the library creates a welcoming space for everyone and takes action in our community, we hope you’ll take action, too, for libraries.

For even more ways that you can Take Action For Libraries, visit the American Library Association.