/Libraries are lifesavers

Libraries are lifesavers

by Thomas Smith

Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card.

I love libraries. Ever since I was a kid, libraries have been a happy and welcoming space.

Every time I enter, I know that I will be leaving the library with an exciting book or movie that will being me on a grand adventure.

Libraries are attestments of modernity by offering their services free to the public. Central community learning spaces are vital for the betterment of ourselves and for our future generations. Paywalls hinder growth.

For those not in-the-know, Haliburton County Public Libraries (HCPL) do a lot more than just loan books and movies.

To begin gardening, HCPL offers seed libraries in Dysart, Minden Hills, Stanhope, and Wilberforce. If you have ever had the itch to grow your own food or flowers, the library offers seeds that have been donated by the public for anyone to take. This is the perfect chance for people to see what varieties of plant species can be grown in the county. Knowledge is passed from generation to generation within our own communities through providing seeds with information regarding the names of the plant, cultivars, townships the plant was grown in, and how many years the plant has been growing in the area. This information and ease of access to gardening provides happiness and enrichment with a higher chance of successfully growing plants in an area that has harsh growing conditions.

While working or playing video games, I indulge myself with an audiobook using the Libby app from the library. As an alternative to traditional reading or listening to music, I can easily and happily digest an audiobook in less time than traditional reading.

Printing, copying, and scanning services at libraries have been vital for me throughout my life for signing forms, applying to jobs, and crafting. With quality printers and a steady supply of ink costing hundreds of dollars, it is not a smart financial decision to purchase a printer and pay for its upkeep. With printers forcing customers to purchase proprietary ink refills, libraries offer a lifesaving service for those that do not have the ability to print things such as job agreements, leases, benefits, and other important applications.

This March Break, there are a plethora of events for kids to do at the local libraries. On Mar. 13th at the Stanhope branch, Wild about Wildflowers and Herbs offers youth in the community to learn about starting seeds and how to care for seedlings. An Author Read-a-Loud event is taking place on Mar. 15th at the Dysart branch. This event offers readings from Daniela Ferante and Dina Russo-De Cotiis, authors and educators from Little Light Books. Even an If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Party happening on Saturday Mar 16 sounds like an awesome time for kids and cookie lovers alike. Although the event listing says families and kids ages 0-8 are welcome, maybe you’ll catch me sneaking in for a sweet treat.

Andrea Brown, CEO and chief librarian says that the services that libraries offer can’t be quantified. The decision to cut costs at the Dorset branch of HCPL is sickening. As Danielsen says, each other municipality gets 48 to 60 hours of library service. Algonquin Highlands gets only 12. If it was between continuing operating ambulance services in the county or cutting library costs, I can certainly understand why the decision is made in favor of the ambulance services. However, the purpose of the HCPL should not be understated.

From room rentals, to Indigenous Resources, to simply offering a safe, warm, and quiet space for people looking to take a breather, HCPL offers resources that purely help our community. I ask that anyone that reads this editorial to please go out and visit your community’s local library this week. Show them the love and support that they deserve. Take out the book you’ve been meaning to read, rent a movie, or simply visit and inquire about events and services the library offers. Trust me when I say that at the library has something there for everyone.