I (Heart) My Local Public Libraries!

How will the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Assist Libraries?

Forbes Library in Northampton, MA

Forbes Library in Northampton, MA (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

I (heart) my local public libraries!   Don’t know what my family would do without them. How amazing is it to have access to more than 8 million items through the Western Massachusetts C/W MARS Libraries Catalog, a network of public, academic, school, regional, and special libraries in Central and Western Massachusetts.  Through a quick search we always find titles or movies on subjects we are interested in. And I love having free museum passes to area museums available to check out from our library too!

Teachers and home-schooling/after-schooling families can find great resources too, including curriculum kits available to check out, like the Discovery Kits at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA.  Families can also find social opportunities, like family game night on Friday night at the Chesterfield Library, Music Together Classes at the Milo M. Belding Memorial Library in Ashfield, MA, evening hours in the winter time, and free family concerts at the Jones Library in Amherst.  A couple of years ago we saw The Nields for the first time during the Jones Library February Family Concert Series … for free!

Ice Storm 2008-14

Chesterfield Library in Chesterfield, MA (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

And if we find ourselves with overdue fines (which we often do!), we wait for the Forbes Library’s annual “Food for Fines” program where we can donate food to local food pantry to waive our fines.  It gives my daughter a way to give back to her community, along with other community service programs, including the Annual Giving Tree that happens every holiday season, also at the Forbes Library. It was the high speed internet we have access at our libraries that enabled the volunteer development of the Hilltown Families web site.

With all these wonderful resources and enrichment programs, we should all be thrilled to hear that the $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Obama included several economic-stimulus provisions that could directly benefit many programs that will benefit libraries, including $130 million for the Rural Community Facilities Program and $7.2 billion for BroadbandClick here to read more about how libraries will be assisted at the ALA web site.

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