Just wanted to give a shout out to my local public library. I have to say there are few instituions that I love more than a public library. If you have ever travelled to a third world country you will understand why. The libraries here in the good ol US of A are awesome. They are places for family, fun and learning. Our libraries have fun activities for the kids. They show videos and play games. In addition, there is story time and summer reading contests and cultural diversity/geography adventures. It’s the one place many parents can count on sending their kids once or twice a week in order (for the parent(s))to capture some of their lost sanity and have an actual adult conversation. Adults may enjoy the free use of a computer for an hour, browse books, magazines, or newspapers, or maybe even pour over Geneology records (my pleasure), or simply sit back and relax while their children are happily supervised and occupied. Contrast this to the third world countries that I have visited and there is no comparison. The public libraries that I visited in Indonesia had guards! You dared speak and it was all seriousness. Children? no way! Activities? no way! Stuffy? Overbearing? Absolutely! I wanted to not walk but run from the place! Don’t get me wrong, Indonesia has fairs and festivals for children and they are heaps of fun! It’s just that the library here and the library there are definatley meant for different purposes.
I’m interested to hear from people in other countries about your public libraries!? Or those of you in the “good ‘ol US of A” feel free to agree or disagree with my assessment. After all, I am one woman and it’s just my personal perspective.