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Some years ago I got a call from someone half way across the country, asking questions about Haywood County history and genealogy. Yes, of course we have a great selection of books on that subject, but his questions went way more in depth than I could answer. I didn’t even know where to look.
Well, actually I DID know where to look. I called the library. I explained my situation and the librarian said, “Why do you give him my number, I do this all time.” That was the first of many, many times that I have told people—“that’s a question for a librarian.” I guess it’s possible that my librarian friends don’t know every single thing, but they are certainly the most likely people to be able to find a piece of information.
As our bookstore has continued to work with the library over the years, we’ve found that many of our best customers are also some of the best patrons and volunteers of the public library. I also found that many of our customers seem surprised if I suggest they check something out at the library instead of purchasing it right away, or if I suggest they ask a librarian for assistance. First of all, we value our customers too much to not try to do what is best for them, if we can. Second, libraries and librarians are so valuable and provide such a great service that we want to promote them as much as we can.
We are about books. Librarians are about books and a whole lot more. They are about information access, in any form. Our library carries CDs and DVDs. They provide computers with internet access. The reference librarians will show you how to search the vast unknown for the information you seek. The library is also about bringing information to you in the form of educational presentations on various subjects of interest.
I checked their online calendar. This month, presentation subjects include cooking, gardening and the facts on dementia. You can also get heirloom seeds from our library.
In an age when some might think libraries are old fashioned, the librarians make sure that our libraries are still very relevant, always changing with the times. That’s why the librarians are my super heroes.
The big super heroes often have sidekicks and librarians are no different. The sidekicks, of course, are no less important than the hero. In this case, the sidekicks are definitely the Friends of the Library. They do LOTS of work for free and raise money to support every aspect of the library including education, resources and community programming. All of their events are good, but the next one is a DON’T MISS.
Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy.
Thursday, May 7 at First United Methodist Church in Waynesville.
Tickets are $10 and the event includes a dessert buffet. Tickets are available at Blue Ridge Books and at all library branches.