Sunday, January 3, 2010

Shifting priorities and the case for libraries

Sunday's New London Day contained an interesting piece on the front page. Entitled Buying Less, Doing More, the summary notes "Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experience over things." Among the experiences benefiting from this shift are spending time with family and friends, reading, and on hobbies. This is good news for libraries, which are designed to encourage communal activities, civic engagement and of course reading. Visit the library's home page and you will encounter reading groups for adults and teens, and story and craft activities for children. There is a link to a calendar filled with club, civic, and community events. I might add too that thanks to the support of the City of Norwich, Sachem Fund, the Friends of Otis Library, AHEPA, the Norwich Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis Club of New London, and generous individuals, there are new books and materials to read, watch and listen to.

When the library committed to maintaining its location in downtown Norwich these were the sorts of results envisioned. The Otis Library would be a destination, and a facilitator of the activities that make communities work. A library serves many functions, and its role as a forum, a gathering spot for community members to exchange ideas, interact, and learn are high on the list of priorities. I hope you will take advantage of the myriad opportunities at the library to engage with other residents in learning, discourse, and community enhancement.