When it comes to the economy, what can I tell you that you haven’t heard already? It almost seems that every day more and more Americans are losing their jobs. People are counting every dime to make ends meet and there seems little chance of improvement in the very near future. The quality of life for the average Joe out there is just not what it was and it just may not be for quite some time to come. Dire talk, but it’s the truth.
As most Americans struggle to pay their bills they’re also looking for ways to get ahead, to improve themselves and figure out how to still enjoy life at little cost. And then there are those Americans who simply want to find a job. People are searching for answers, looking for help and not sure where to turn to first. I would strongly suggest that you place the local public library near the top of the list.
Although your Palm Harbor Library has also been hit hard by this recession, losing up to $250,000 annually over the past two years and facing another significant decrease this forthcoming year, it still strongly adheres to its principles of bridging the gap between the haves and have not’s while providing free access to all. Now that may sound a bit highfalutin’, but that’s what we do.
In a recent online article by Jim Rettig for the Huffington Post, he states “We already know that through their power to educate and to inspire libraries level the playing field for underserved communities. It is the library that opens the door to life-changing books and provides access to the worlds beyond our communities. Perhaps most importantly, libraries exist as centers of culture. As the nation continues to experience a sharp and jarring economic downturn, local libraries are providing valuable free tools and services to help Americans of all ages through this time of uncertainty. The public library is the only option many Americans have for financial advice and information to secure their families’ futures. In Florida, a study showed that libraries create jobs, raises wages and increase gross regional product, returning $6.54 for each dollar invested. As our country faces the challenges and uncertainty of this time, the public library is one constant that all Americans, regardless of age or economic status, can count on.”
So what exactly are we doing to help you?
As Mr. Rettig alluded to, your library does offer several print and non-print materials regarding financial maters that you can either use or borrow for free. You can obtain this information with your free library card or by accessing the library’s website at www.palmharborlibrary.org. We offer various types of free computer classes, free usage of computers and free business services. We also offer free e-government services.
As for your leisure hours, save your money at the book stores, video stores and music stores. We got it all here. Get the latest new books, DVDs, CDs as well as classic LP records. We even loan out a portable turn table! And then there are puzzles, educational toys, “Book-Clubs-To-Go”, genealogy services, literacy services, homework helpers and as they say, so much more.
Many years ago in library school I was taught that a successful library is one that responds to the needs of the community it serves. Fancy talk, but it’s the truth.