Rural & Small Libraries Provide Vital Infrastructure for Communities

Feel inspired and get ideas: take a few minutes to read Small Wonders: Rural and Small Libraries Provide Vital Infrastructure for Communities at SLJ.

Here are highlights:

Even though her library is only open 20 hours a week and staffed by just her and one assistant, she knows her building is the town’s hub.
“I do think libraries are more important in towns like this,” she says. “There’s nothing else. There’s no community center, no bank, no gas station. There’s just a post office, a church, a bar, and the library.”

Still, she knows the importance of staying up-to-date in the community, so her programs don’t compete with other activities. “I adjust my programming for Vacation Bible school meetings, I know when swim lessons are going on.…There’s so few things to do, I don’t want to have three things on the same day.”
As in many rural communities, Internet access at the library is usually the strongest in town. Pool thinks nothing of letting residents into her library before it officially opens so they can complete Skype calls for their work.

She created a food shelf where patrons can leave or pick up nonperishables or toiletries. That action has taken the least amount of time and provided the biggest payoff of anything the library has done, Pillard says.

For children in school, she runs a Read’N’Feed program twice year. That’s where everyone reads the same book and then comes to the library to eat food featured in the books.

Hat tip: thanks for Mark Arend for sharing this article via email
Image source: Blue Mountains Library via Flickr, Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)