Library notes: Providing more than just books

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2022

By Brooke K. Taylor

Rowan Public Library

Raise your hand if you think that libraries are just for people who are readers. If you raised your hand, I hate to break it to you but you are in fact very wrong. Libraries provide more than just books. At libraries you can find access to desktop computers, laptops, study rooms, and a reliable Wi-Fi signal. You can print documents from your phone, make photo copies of recipes, and fax timesheets to your employer.

At libraries you can try out a tai chi class, learn how to research your family’s history, or join a discussion on race in the South. You can take a librarian led photo walk and learn how to use your smartphone camera to its best advantage. You can join a library field trip to the local park to learn outdoor survival skills.  You can visit a library STEAM program to engineer popsicle bridges, create propulsion funnels, and use coded guides to operate robots. At libraries you can work on Pinterest inspired projects like keychain earrings, seasonal door wreaths, and galaxy pour paintings. You can volunteer to help at a book sale, assist with organizing donated items, and help with digitizing old photos and articles.

Of course, everyone knows you can read at libraries. Literacy is what libraries do. But more importantly, at libraries you can learn, make, meet, connect, understand, and accept. You can think, explore, be challenged and grow. At libraries you are welcomed, whether you enjoy books or not. Don’t worry. It’s okay. Libraries are for you. They are staffed with workers who are people just like you. A community of humans, trying to be our best selves and understand our place and value in this world. And when we come together at this community center called the Rowan Public Library in the towns of Salisbury or Rockwell or China Grove or Cleveland all of us are what makes libraries more than just books. Visit to find out what is happening at your local library branch this month.

Brooke K. Taylor is branch operations manager for the Rowan Public Library.


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