When we first moved to Saunderstown at the start of winter and I felt lonely, the library provided a place to get to know my neighbors and make friends.
When my sons were small, we frequented more than half a dozen of the beautiful libraries in Rhode Island: from the smallest (Willett Free) to the one with the fun playhouse (Newport) to the one with the best view (North Kingstown’s lovely pond view) to the one with the best playground (Jamestown) and the one closest to the families in our playgroup (Peacedale) to the one with the extensive video collection (Cross Mills) and the one closest to preschool (Kingston). Each library had its special charms.
Now that my sons are older and one can order a book from any Rhode Island Library to be delivered to the home library thanks to Ocean State Libraries, we tend to stick to Willett Free Library, a ten minute walk from home. Here are some ways I’ve loved my library over the years, maybe one will inspire you:
1. Stay and Read: It’s so easy to rush in, grab your books and rush out. Take some time to sit and enjoy being surrounded by books and readers. I often schedule time to meet a friend and write.
2. Organize a Community Event: After reading about the benefits of a whole foods, plant based diet, I got excited about supporting my own eating habits by connecting with others interested in eating more whole foods and plants. I organized a screening of Forks Over Knives, followed by a Skype chat with Micaela Karlsen, former Executive Director of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation (of China Study fame) and an expert on whole foods, plant based eating and lifestyle who developed the website Plant Based Research. The event was a huge hit and filled the room.
3. Attend an Event: Libraries offer tons of events around reading, writing and learning. Visit your library online to see what interests you.
4. Volunteer: See if there’s an upcoming event you can volunteer for. At Willett, there’s an annual book and bake sale where everyone gets involved. I’ve also volunteered reading and leading crafts at our story hour when my children were younger, as well as leading a writing workshop for older kids.
5. Make a Donation: At Willett, we have the opportunity to buy a brick. I love that my kids will be able to take their grandchildren to the library and show them the brick our family donated.
Happy National Library Week. Share how you’re celebrating…or how you love a library and why!