Happy National Library Week, readers! Bookish is celebrating by visiting our local branch to connect with our favorite libraries, attend events, and pick up some new books. If you’re looking to get involved and show your library some love, we have lots of ideas. Below you’ll find a list of 10 ways to support your library that go beyond simply getting a library card.
Become a regular
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Imagine walking into your local library and having your librarian greet you by name and personally recommend a book they think you’d love. This fantasy can be yours! Get a library card and use it often by making trips to the library part of your reading routine.
Get to know the staff
On that note, chat up the staff while you’re there. Librarians have an impressive amount of resources at their fingertips. They could easily introduce you to your next favorite book, a local book club, a new-to-you author, or events to attend. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself and telling them a bit about your reading tastes so they can do what they do best: help you find books! Plus, National Library Workers Day is Tuesday, April 9, so now is the perfect time to remind your branch’s staff of how much you appreciate them.
Don’t reshelve books
I know, I know. It feels rude to remove a book from a shelf and leave it on a table. But you may not know your library’s shelves as well as you think you do, and you risk shelving a book in the wrong place. Plus, some libraries actually track which books are pulled by readers and that data is incredibly valuable. Help your librarian keep their system running smoothly and place any books you pull on a nearby table or a designated library cart.
Check out more books
You may think it’s greedy to take out more books than you can carry, but libraries want you to! The more books you borrow, the more libraries can purchase their collections. Check to see if your library places any limits on how many books can be borrowed at a time, and then bring a tote bag and stock up.
Visiting your library and discovering they don’t carry the book you’re looking for can be a bummer. Help solve the problem by requesting the book! Libraries are built to serve the community and to best do that they need to know what their readers enjoy. Don’t hesitate to ask if they can begin to stock your favorite series or author. Chances are, you aren’t the only reader looking for those books and your fellow patrons will reap the benefits.
Libraries do so much more than lend books. They’re home to author events, book clubs, and more. Take a look at your branch’s upcoming events calendar. Chances are there will be something there you’ll want to check out, and maybe even bring some friends to.
Do you have a free weekend coming up? Sure, you could spend it curled up with a book. But what if you hung out with fellow bookworms instead? Take a trip to your branch to see if they need volunteers for upcoming events.
Make your commitment to your library official by joining a Friends of the Library program! Members contribute an annual donation that goes towards books, resources, events, and more. You can also donate to the American Library Association, a nonprofit that advocates for libraries around the world. Additionally, some libraries even accept book donations—just be sure to ask what their policy is before showing up with a huge box.
Spread the love
Don’t let your library be your city’s best-kept secret. Shout your love from the rooftops! Tell friends and family about events. Snap photos of fun displays for social media. Follow your library online. A few clicks is all it takes to share your IRL passion for books with your friends, family, and followers online.
Advocate for them
Libraries don’t survive on late fees alone. They require funding. Keep an eye on local politics to ensure that you’re prepared to show up and vote for legislation and candidates who support your branch. While you’re at it, it never hurts to remind your local government how vital you think libraries are to the wellbeing of a community. Send your representatives a quick email to let them know you want to see continued support for your branch. Not sure how to contact your rep? We’re pretty sure your local librarian would be happy to lend a hand.
Check out this article by Bookish’s friend Beth Gabriel, a library reference assistant, for more dos and don’ts of being a library superstar.