Advocacy – In the Community

Libraries are important cornerstones of a healthy community. Libraries give people the opportunity to find jobs, explore medical research, experience new ideas, get lost in wonderful stories, while at the same time providing a sense of place for gathering.

The West Haven Public Library reflects the diversity and character, and the needs and expectations of our community. Those needs and expectations are often extensive, and the services invaluable.

The West Haven Public Library is often the only readily available source of comprehensive information needed by people for personal, family and job-related purposes. Our community’s economy benefits when business people use library resources to make wise business decisions, employees use it to improve job skills, or the disadvantaged use it to help break the cycle of poverty. During economic hardship, our citizens turn to and depend on the library.

Over summer vacations, evenings and weekends, the West Haven Public Library is the only library available to school children; for preschoolers it is simply the only library available. College students often use the library when they are home for the weekend or for holidays. And the reference resources in public libraries are usually unavailable elsewhere in the community.

Our library is a unique and valuable resource.  It is a lifeline to the world and all the information in it.

Yet we struggle to keep up with the many changes in technology, rising costs in books and other materials, staff and budget shortages, and a growing demand from our customers for more information. We ask you to please make a commitment to your library and to library service for all.  The intellectual and economic health of our community depends on it.

Template provided by State Library of Iowa

Links to community resources

Build Community

In addition to connecting people to information, libraries connect people to people. They are safe havens for kids when school is not in session, offering after school homework help, games and book clubs. Libraries offer computer classes, enabling older adults stay engaged in a digital world.

Libraries are places of information. When most people think “library” they think books. And while that is certainly true, these days books take different shapes, such as e-books and audio books. More than just books, libraries are places of information, offering people free access to a wealth of information that they often can’t find elsewhere, whether online, in print or in person. Whether they’re looking for DVDs or the latest best-seller; health or business information found  on internet databases not accessible at home, or going for story times and community programming, the library is a center of community for millions of people. 

America’s 123,000 libraries fall into four basic types (with a few added variations): Public, School, Academic and Special. There are also Armed Forces libraries, Government libraries and multi-use or Joint-Use libraries, which combine library types in one service area or structure.

At the center of all types of libraries is the librarian. Librarians are information experts, selecting books relevant to the community, creating helpful programming, and connecting people to information. 

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”

Libraries as community infrastructure

Reading room, social service center, innovation lab. How far can we stretch the public library?

Libraries Help Young Children and Their Families Flourish

“At a time when so many children’s experiences are optimized toward achieving a future goal, libraries are places where children are treated not as adults in training but as full people worthy of joy and love and learning. Together, we must decide whether we want a future where libraries are flourishing, well-resourced public spaces or whether we acquiesce to the temptation to settle for private spaces that are inaccessible to many.”

Community Centered: 23 Reasons Why Your Library Is the Most Important Place in Town

As librarians, we know the value of our community services, and our patrons appreciate their importance as well. But in an increasingly digital world, we see the role of libraries as community and cultural centers at times undervalued, and occasionally under fire. When shrinking municipal budgets combine with the nonstop technological revolution, public library services that focus on building community face-to-face, inspiring and educating patrons about art, literature, and music, and helping patrons engage in civil discourse can seem quaint. But it is precisely those shrinking budgets and the onslaught of technologically mediated life that make public libraries’ cultural and community offerings more important than ever.