Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Importance of Our Library: My Young Adult Perspective

    The other day, I was thinking about how crazy it was that I was approaching five years since I first started volunteering for the library. It was crazy to me that I have been volunteering longer than some people have been working there. I have seen so many different librarians throughout the years, and I can confidently say that, although my volunteering has let me see and work with many different librarians, they all have the goal of bettering the community and almost nothing else. I have seen time and time again how, although the faces may change, they never lose sight of the fact that they are here to serve the community and make it a better place overall. 

    I’ve realized that I can’t understate how important our library is in serving our community. I don’t think there is much I can say that won’t convince you of the library’s importance in our community. Our library continues to create more and more opportunities for connection within our community. One prime example of this is how they started a knitting program just to try and get a small section of our community in the door and get them to build new relationships with our library. Our librarians continue to bring new opportunities to our community to build a stronger relationship with the community.

The library continues to expand and grow the programs that it hosts to try to bring more and more people into the library. The library’s ultimate goal is to help the community, and the single most effective way to do that is to get people into the library and use it as the resource it is meant to be. If people aren’t in the library, then there is no reason to have that library. The library wants people to come in and explore what it has to offer.

To get people in the door, the library tries to throw fun events like getting the Berenstain Bears to come to our small town in order to greet the community. Although the Berenstain Bears coming to Bremen wasn’t necessarily targeted to our Young Adult community, it shows the library cares. The library cares enough to put the time and effort in to get fun characters like the Berenstain Bears into the town just so people start associating the library with the community. The library wants to start associating itself with fun and excitement and less of the boring and mundane that people may unfortunately think when it comes to the library. We rewrite the old age stigma that you can’t find a good time within the confines of a library. 

As you may guess, the library’s quest to involve more and more of the community doesn’t stop with only the adult and children departments, it involves us, the young adults. The library has continued to expand its outreach into getting more and more young adults through the door and start using the library’s resources and to not lose the desire to go to the library. The library tries to create these connections through actions like having me, a fellow young adult in the community they are trying to serve, start writing for the blog in order to show us that they are willing to hear our voices and care about what we have to say. The library also expanded what where we can go by building a dedicated part of the library for a place for our people to be and hang out. The library continues to try to push more and more of the young adult community through the door. 

Even after the library was renovated to give us in the young adult community a dedicated space, the library still strives to provide more for us. As some of you may know, the library recently hired Ryan Calhoun to act as the dedicated young adult librarian. In Ryan’s time here so far, he has created many new programs and clubs built around the interests he sees in the young adult community. 

Coming from a string of different libraries, Ryan has experience when it comes to creating programs for the young adult community. In his time here, Ryan has set up clubs like the anime club that brings in people in our young adult community on every Thursday to watch a predetermined anime each month. Ryan has also done things like create the grapix book club in order to bring more young adults with an interest with graphic novels into the library. All around, people like Ryan try their hardest to bring more people from the community into the library.

If the library, and librarians, weren’t a part of our small community, then our community would be worse off. Some people, young adults especially, don’t have a full view of how important the library is in creating a sense of community. The library has stood strong throughout the years, and it continues to try to bring people together in order to strengthen the sense of community as the community gets larger. This is a major portion of why the library wanted to undergo a huge renovation. The library wants people to see the good that it does, and renovating creates greater opportunities for gathering and grows our feeling of community. The library works for the people and people need to rediscover the fact that the library is here to serve. 

This writing brought to you by BPL Student Advisor, Braden Unruh

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