Even though National Library Week isn’t until April 13-19, I’ve decided to talk about the benefits our public libraries provide to my family. Since the Montgomery County Maryland County Executive Ike Leggett released the the county’s 2014 operating budget last March, I thought the timing appropriate for this post. And since the library is funded under the larger county’s annual operating budget, I encourage all my fellow Montgomery County MD residents to reach out to Ike Leggett’s office to express the importance of continued support for our local libraries. Yes, I’m posting this to his Facebook page so you can like my post here (I can’t get the link so you have to find my post on his page) to ask for his support of our libraries! Feel free to also reach out to out County Council members (linked below) if this is a resource you and your families use.
I took this picture this morning, during Montgomery County’s White Oak Library weekly story hour, to prove a point (I think there were 30+ kids and 20+ families in attendance – the image only captures 1/2 of the room but the ages of the kids ranged from babies to 4/5 year olds). There is clearly a need in the community for these resources. (I took the picture on a whim because it was packed and also so you can’t see the faces of the kids and adults.) You get the idea, though. Lots of kids, and lots of parents.
The story hour is 1 hour long and includes 3 songs and movement activities for parents and children, 3-4 books and a short “movie” (maybe 5-10 minutes on average) adapted from a book. This library has story hour dialed in, folks. Every week, I drive #3 (she’s 3 1/2) 20 minutes to attend this story hour. Its THAT good. The two children’s librarians who lead the story hour the best (there are always a few wandering around the room instead of sitting and listening and the librarians just work around those fidgety little people) and often picked themed books and activities.
I want to remind Mr. Leggett that, as a tax-paying member of Montgomery County, I use and value the public libraries every week in person and virtual resources several times a week. The selections of books are fantastic and the staff are knowledgeable and courteous. I know I’m raising aware, and self-aware, children because of the resources and support I get from our libraries and their affiliated resources and staff. I want to thank him for keeping the libraries available to the public and would respectfully ask that he give serious consideration to maintaining and (if possible) increasing library funding in 2015!
If you like feel the way I do about them, please consider forwarding this post to Mr. Leggett and any and all of the county council members (below is a list of their names). I don’t want to see the libraries and their resources cut again next year or articles like this.
District 1: Roger Berliner
District 2: Craig Rice, President
District 3: Phil Andrews
District 4: Nancy Navarro
District 5: Cherri Branson (she has no webpage on the council page so you’ll need to email her directly)
At Large: George Leventhal, Vice President
At Large: Nancy Floreen
At Large: Hans Riemer
At Large: Marc Elrich
To learn more about our libraries, you can visit their main page and select the library closest to you. Happy reading!