Public Libraries Are an Essential Ingredient In the Nation’s Ongoing Conversation

From a story on by Ilan Stavans headlined “American Literature Is a History of the Nation’s Libraries”:

The history of American literature is the history of the nation’s libraries. These have changed over time, from mere depositories of books meant for circulation where patrons, driven by taste and curiosity, replenish their intellectual needs, to sites where an assortment of community services are offered, especially for the disenfranchised. They offer internet services, English-language classes for immigrants, children’s activities, job-hunting tools, and even Yoga.

In Praise of a Public Library’s Parent-and-Child Friendly Design

From a Washington Post story by Casey Parks headlined “Public libraries across the U.S. are taking note of this Richmond branch’s parent-and-child-friendly design”:

Janelle Witcher thinks of the library as her second home. She’s a single mom who lives in Richmond, and a few times a week, she drives her four children to Henrico County’s Fairfield branch. It’s a place where her children can learn and she can use a computer or socialize with other parents. Plus, she said, the books calm her children down.

“I go there just to let them see a different view, a peaceful view,” she said.