Do you Visit your local Public Library?

Has your Library recently enlarged, built a new building for the central library? For nearby branches? Does your public library offer classes? Hands-on learning? Play places for young children and relaxing corners for nannies and parents? Checkout kits and full experiences to accompany books, videos, and other media?

“Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card,” said the Aardvark in the 1990’s. On posters and in cartoons this promo caught on and continues to motivate young and old to seek out entertainment provided by librarians and their guests.

In case, you haven’t noticed: attendance is up–over 86% increase these last two years. And FREE is the word. You can date, hang out, read, listen to music, order dinner online or place an order for take-out to be picked up on your way home. You can study or read quietly, without interruption. Make copies. Check out movies and works of  art. You can watch movies or TV. Read the newspaper online or in original paper formats. You can add to your own personal library by purchasing used books at bargain prices–even the most current reference works and fiction.

And if you need directions for cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey–the reference department is ready to coach you through the ordeal.

But, a surprise! According to  Pew Research, Millennials and  young adults are the ones you will most likely meet in the library. Almost 60% of those currently using the public library are aged 18 to 35 years of age. Next time you visit your library, look around you. Who is there?

When I go on a research trip, I spend almost as much time in public libraries as I do in research archives or courthouses. Genealogy and local history collections. Family Files. Current periodicals. Map and Transportation Departments. I check them all for local information that will help me find the answers–discovering hard-to-find ancestors! And I sign in too! Your favorite genealogist, Arlene  Eakle.

PS If you make a trip to the land of your ancestors, always visit the public library. Local access and knowledge abounds there.


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