Monday, February 16, 2009

"Libraries Made Me Healthier"

In Shakespeare's play, Titus Andronicus, Titus tells his daughter, much abused at the hands of his enemies, "Come, and take choice of all my library/And so beguile thy sorrow."  

For many people, reading is not just a pastime, it is as essential as breathing.  I count myself among this group and it is not a small part, obviously, of what draws me to librarianship as a profession.  Books are important to me, certainly, but it is the library, which I consider to be one of the last true democratic institutions, that continues to draw my fascination thirteen years down the road in my career.  Any frustrations with the ups and downs of public service aside, a person's background, financial situation, gender affiliation, sexual identity, race, creed or any other qualification matters little when you step through our doors.   Article 1 of the American Library Association Code of Ethics states:

We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

I do my best to adhere to the spirit of this statement every day.  That is how I hope to be viewed by members of my service community and my peers.

That was a rather long introduction to work my away around to a great article published in a recent issue of Woman's Day magazine!  Woman's Day paired up with the American Library Association to collect the stories of people who found new meaning in life through the use of libraries and books.  Annemarie Conte shares the stories of four of those people here.

Visit your local library today!

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