Over the course of the year the Crawford Library is visited by wonderful patrons, patrons who are dedicated to their library and the community. It is not often that library staff is able to properly thank them for all of their support, so they created what should be the first patron appreciation potluck to do just that.
"Hopefully we can do this more than once a year. This was truly one of our best attended events," says manager Kit Stephenson. "The community truly gets behind everything we do, and this is our chance to tell them how much we appreciate all that they do."
About 50 patrons packed into the library to eat an assortment of wonderful dishes that included enchiladas, ham and beans, chili, casseroles, desserts and many other favorite dishes.
Librarians Jan Ryan and Kathy Little were delighted with the turnout and the overall sentiment. "Everyone was so grateful," said Ryan. "They had such a good time. Thanking those who support our library is so important, and this was special." Little added, "Those who attended had such a great time, we decided we will have to do this again in a few months."
The patrons certainly would agree as they chatted throughout the dinner about how wonderful the dinner was, the sense of community that they felt, how nice it was to have something to do on an evening in Crawford and some even wanted to create a "library restaurant."
The great turnout and support speaks to the importance of community libraries and how they can bring people together, offering resources and services that cannot be obtained elsewhere. In rural areas they are often the sole source of entertainment, Internet, reading materials and community. Delta County has five libraries, more than many larger counties. This is critical to the stability and growth of the entire region. The local, state and national economies are in flux, jobs are scarce and overall morale is down. People are struggling. The library serves, for many, as a conduit to future success and a means of personal development.
According to a study published by The Institute of Museum and Library Services called "The State of Small and Rural Libraries in the United States," the library plays an even more important role in rural communities than many might think.
The study states:
"Small and rural libraries, which are present in so many communities, serve a strategic role in extending public services to residents that may be hard to reach by other means. Many small and rural libraries are accustomed to linking what might be considered traditional library services with a variety of other social, educational and economic development programs." This statement sums up what our libraries mean to the community, and how they impact a diverse cross-section of Delta County's population."
So on this particular night in Crawford, the staff was able to personally thank all of the patrons in attendance. They were able to show their love for the town, and the people that make it such a great place to live. At the same time, they were able to showcase what makes the Crawford Library, and really each one of the district libraries, a unique and essential part of the community. The library has evolved into an invaluable resource that meets the diverse needs of patrons, rather than being simply a place to find a book.blog comments powered by Disqus