Thursday, December 23, 2010

Give the Gift of Libraries

Some years ago, when my extended family still held their annual Christmas draw, I request that instead of a gift my name-holder make a donation in my name to the charity of their choice. My uncle, an incredibly kind and intelligent school teacher, made a donation on my behalf to the St. Paul Municipal Library. This was long before I even considered becoming a librarian.

The holidays are great time to remind people that they can give the gift of libraries. Along with making a donation to the library, patrons can also purchase library vouchers for friends and family to get their own library cards. You may remember that Chinook Arch created of these last year for just such a purpose.

Libraries can also reap the benefits of the holidays with donations of recently purchased books. I now personally that the fewer books I have around my house the better, so it doesn’t hurt to mention to patrons that the library is always happy to receive new paperbacks or bestsellers they have finished. Of course, it is up to every library to decide individually if they would like to receive such donations.

And lastly, in this season of materialism and overspending, library cards are a minimalistic super-deal in the grand scheme of things. Instead of purchasing that one item that will cost at least $20.00 at Chapters, talk up how a library card gives you access to over 800,000 items in the Chinook Arch system alone. But don’t just sell it to you patrons. Chat it up to your friends, family, the folks at the grocery store or the local historical society. Let your community know that the library can be a great gift to them and their community and let your spirit shine through. Seasons greetings to all!

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