Reflecting on 2011: Denver’s literary machine made an impact heard nationwide: Part one.
The Denver Library: Building budget worthy bridges in the community utilizing print and eMedia
In the midst of 2011’s worldwide economic uncertainty, libraries were threatened and closed in the UK; while suggestions to do the same here in the United States spread speculation on the worth of our own treasured libraries. In a healthy functioning democracy, citizens must be informed; with that in mind, libraries are not a privilege, they are a necessity. It is extremely disheartening to find people of influence, who see the libraries’ existence solely as just another tax pitfall. We aren’t talking about paid entertainment luxuries such as Netflix, or Blockbuster — we’re talking about the option for free education for our citizens.
The misguided claim that libraries are a waste of tax payers money is interesting because (unlike the sinking major bookstores) the Denver Public Library shows that use is up, and still offering new employment opportunities, while also embracing the media digital age — thus increasing their patronage that much more, electronically. These are basic facts, but public libraries’ economic influence runs deeper than just the employment opportunities, free eMedia and entertainment, and the promise of education to those who are interested (an educated society is a prosperous one); they provide valuable marketing for authors (new worlds described in fresh voices) — and they’re doing it without charging marketing fees, or cutting into consumers’ wallets.
Even though libraries are becoming more and more tech savvy, the naysayers still foresee demise in the wake of technological advancements. While eReaders are becoming more popular, appealing to tech-heads everywhere, the majority of people are still turning to the tactile gratification of picking up a good book – but, ultimately, a bookie is a bookie. Somewhere between the bookworms and digital enthusiasts there must be a bridge that appeals to the common compulsion to simply read. Perhaps the link between writers and readers (page or digital) can be found within the proven method of literary promotion: word of mouth. And from ancient Egypt to present day, that word has been library. Meanwhile, the Denver Public Library continues to thrive by building and nurturing relationships with their community, found in classes, seminars, literacy programs, sales, and just plain old accessibility (by walking through their doors, or logging onto their site). Our libraries, the Denver Public Library, hold growth, wisdom, and economic stability in their hands; and they have worked hard to build the bridges. Now, with continued patronage and support, we the people can reinforce and secure their future, and in turn our own, through 2012 and well beyond.