From The Director: 2010
The contributions of our public library to our community neighborhoods are too numerous to list. Because HTFL is such an established institution, people often take for granted that we will always exist in the manner so accustomed. Here in Haverford Township as in most communities, the library agency must compete with many other essential community services for funding. Although the library does collect a percentage of revenue from fundraising activity, private sources, or grants, these revenue streams can never (nor should they) fully support the many functions performed by HTFL. Despite the fact that we are involved in a challenging economic period of time and as such we are set to continue to act in a proactively fiscally responsible manner as we meet our fundamental budget, we will continue to strive to provide “impact” to the following arenas of service as exemplified by the following:
The public library is often called “the people’s university” because it is available to all. Our school children depend on our public library for books and materials that supplement those of the educational community. College and Adult learners use our services as we now offer specialized online research tools.
The public library contains resources to answer most questions. Information staff help customers find answers by showing them how to use resources or how to narrow and refine their computer searches to get authoritative information.
We are essential for the development of language skills and critical thinking. Resources cost money and it is the goal to provide the community with as extensive and varied collection as is possible given building and budgetary limitations. The library provides programs that foster a love of learning from an early age. People of all ages can pursue self-directed learning. Staffers can mentor individuals plan programs of study.
From popular movies to “must reads” to cyber sources, HTFL offers a wealth of opportunities for recreational reading, viewing, and listening. School-age children often rely on the public library for their leisure reading, because the collections and services of school libraries are by definition curriculum-oriented. Public library offerings include programs, author visits, movies, and other opportunities.
The Library as Gathering Place
People use the library as a neutral place to gather—for socializing, networking, or working together on projects or community issues. The library has sponsored discussions on issues of interest. People involved in business meet clients. Tutors meet students or adult learners. Community groups use meeting rooms. Book and writing groups come together.
New service responses will be chosen by the library to meet specific community needs in the months to come as the library continues to evolve. The library has chosen to focus on services to entrepreneurs, job hunting, economic development and to be active in teaching technology skills. We also absolutely continue to devote a share of resources to helping people learn to find, evaluate, and select valid and accurate information through an evolving technology scene both in-house and remotely.
Posted: Tue, August 24, 2010