What is Dear Library?
Dear Library is a collection of stories, thoughts and ideas from people who share what they love about their libraries. It is a collaborative journal recording the reasons people think their libraries are unique and still very much an important element of our community.
I invite you to write for Dear Library, sharing in your own words the reasons you think your library is here to stay. It can be a memory, story or just reasons why you love your library. By becoming a collaborator with Dear Library, add your voice to standing up for these cornerstones of our communities.
How does Dear Library help?
I feel deeply for the spirit of libraries and the awesomeness they have to offer. They are home to a wealth of knowledge, opportunity and connections, one which cannot be found in any other realm of society. I want to create Dear Library in an effort to voice support for what libraries stand for and I invite ALL library-lovers and supporters to join me in making it possible through our own experiences, ideas and stories about libraries.
After collecting your letters and notes, I will design Dear Library as a handbook in digital and print formats. In order for this campaign to have full effect, the project calls for the following:
- For your contributions, you will also receive a copy of Dear Library which you can read, share and distribute with fellow library-lovers as well as members of the community who are new to libraries.
- You can also send a copy to your State senator to help them see the importance of libraries in our communities. I hope for Dear Library to become an important tool in the advocacy for libraries and getting them attention and funding.
- A copy will also be sent to your library that you write about and attend, in addition to having your library being mentioned in the Dear Library book among all the others.
- A social media campaign surrounding the book and it's contributors will ensue as the project takes off and gains momentum.
Why do libraries need our help?
Inadequate resources for marketing.
The list of challenges that today’s public libraries face goes on and on. Their very existence appears to be questioned time and again. The public's support of libraries falters and fluctuates. Most of these libraries fully depend on their community for funding while a lot of others look to the little federal funding they can get through grants, a system which itself is unreliable and threatened.*
Just a few reasons why libraries are awesome:
- Free books to borrow and read.
- Free movies to borrow and watch.
- Libraries help make our neighborhoods brighter and better through community education and bettering it's people.
- They are a central hub where the community meets, gets to know each other and what is happening around them.
- Libraries provide unlimited access to resources and material that defines the line between success and failure for individuals who have little to no other options.
Thought-starters as you write out your Dear Library letters and notes:
Your letters will be collated into the Dear Library handbook. They will also be published online on the Dear Library website and it's social media campaign channels. Below are some thought-starters as you write your notes:
- Unique reason why your library matters.
- Your favorite story at your library that shows why libraries matter.
- Programs your library offers that are special to you and your community.
- Ideas (big or small) you would like to see in libraries.
- Something your library does that you think other libraries could benefit from and should adopt.
And why I love my library:
One of my earliest childhood memories I have is waking up on Saturdays and jumping in the car with my mom to go to the library. I remember looking up at bookcases way taller than I was, filled with colorful books, wall-to-wall. I remember making friends in the library's play-area and taking home a total of seven new books every week and returning the ones from the week before. Its 20 years later and still the same. I have been lucky to be part of amazing libraries, across different countries, cities and schools. Their impact on my life has been incredible in terms of the information, connections and programs I have benefited from. Sometimes, they have just been the quiet I need from an otherwise really noisy world.
I think every community needs a safe space to explore in and grow, which is the core of libraries. During research for this project and having visited several libraries, I understand not every library is the same or equal but their spirit in being community cornerstones remains one. It is my humble goal to add to the conversation that supports their importance, to fight for their presence and betterment, so that they continue to inspire us and generations to come. Libraries forever! :)
*The proposed 2018-2019 fiscal budget from the administration calls to eliminate funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which supports libraries and museums across the country. The IMLS faces a $208 million cut, bringing its funding to $23 million for 2019. In a statement, IMLS director Kathryn K. Matthews said her agency is the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries. “Without IMLS funding for museums and libraries, it would be more difficult for many people to gain access to the internet, continue their education, learn critical research skills, and find employment,” Matthews said. The Washington Post.
Risks and challenges
1. Delays in printing are always a possibility but one that I will be
following closely and plan ahead for as much as possible.
2. Delays in shipping which I will try and forecast as much as possible
and work hard to avoid.
3. Not enough stories and ideas from participants for which I will be hard
at work to gather and curate from the start.
- (15 days)