Library closings have been in the news a lot lately. I've wondered what it is about libraries that makes them so necessary.
Remember the morning announcements in high school? Every morning, a crackly voice on the loudspeaker would tell us everything that mattered in our world: what clubs were meeting, what time the dance would start, who wanted to be class president and whether our teams had won.
You didn't have to look any further to get the information you needed for your daily life.
That's the role a library plays in the community.
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The library is, first and foremost, about books: for edification, enlightenment and entertainment. For people who love to read, the library is a garden of plenty where all the fruit is free, ripe and ready to pick.
But it is also a place for job seekers, folks researching genealogy, students doing school projects and preschoolers in search of a good story and some social time.
It's also a place to buy used books, get information about the census or taxes, make copies, get directions, have a meeting, be tutored, find out who's running for office, pick up brochures about problems like identity theft and learn about community events.
For a lot of people, the library is a place to find someone to talk to. That's because the library belongs to all of us. Something is there for everyone, including the feeling that everything there is for us.
When my family moved here, one of the first things we did was stop by the Mount Pleasant library. The wonderful staff helped us find both books and the closest Food Lion, and gave us information about our new community. That's why libraries are special: They tell us how to find things like doctors' offices, volunteer opportunities or a certain graveyard.
Like the morning announcements, the library is the place to go to find out everything you need to know.
Cabarrus County budget cuts have affected my library. I no longer see Betty Adams or Jordan Carter working at the Mount Pleasant library. It has new, shortened hours; it's closed evenings and on Fridays and Saturdays.
Kate Moore and Carol Blair are working hard to keep all its programs going, and they're thankful for the volunteer support they've had.
You can support our library: Become a Friend of the Mount Pleasant Library. The group helps with library programs and provides financial help for special events and library enrichment. A family membership costs $25 annually. Individuals can join for $10, and students for just $1.
The library belongs to all of us, but wouldn't it feel good to do something to say you're grateful for it? Become a Friend; stop by the library to see how you can help. You'll be glad you did.