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Six reasons to be thankful for public libraries

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It is easy to forget to be thankful during the brief window of time between Halloween candy and costumes and holiday shopping and cooking. Black cats and pumpkins have been replaced by Christmas lights and children's toys on the shelves of most stores, encouraging consumers to buy, buy, buy! However, Thanksgiving is a good time to remember that some very valuable things do not come with a price tag.

There is a multitude of reasons to be thankful for libraries in this season of giving. Here are six of those reasons, directly from library patrons.

Reason #1: "I feel thankful for my library because a world of information and stories are right across the street," says Mary Hockenbery, Hotchkiss Library neighbor and patron. From travel guides and maps to cook books and reference materials, libraries connect their communities with a world of knowledge and resources.

Reason #2: "The kindness shown to my children, the patience of the librarians to listen and show them where a book is located on the shelf," states an anonymous parent when asked what she values the most about the library. Delta County libraries supports early literacy with weekly storytimes at all five locations, outreach to area schools, stocked shelves in children's areas, and friendly, informed staff.

Reason #3: "Our libraries are a great resource, both electronically and physically inviting," says an anonymous Cedaredge Library patron. Along with all of the physical buildings, technology, and materials, Delta County Libraries also offers a wide array of electronic resources through its online library, such as e-books, downloadable music, educational databases, online classes, and more.

Reason #4: "I am thankful for my library because it is a social equalizer and it provides equal access to knowledge for all who choose to seek it," says Nathan Sponseller, Crawford resident and president of the Hotchkiss Community Chamber of Commerce. Delta County Libraries' services and resources are available to all Delta County residents, no matter what age, economic status, ethnicity, belief system, or any other factor.

Reason #5: "The summer reading program keeps my children reading through the summer," says the parent of a participant in the 2017 summer reading program. Every summer, library staff plan dynamic programs, engaging activities, and rewarding incentives to encourage kids to read throughout the summer.

Reason #6: "The Delta librarians always proctored exams for me while I completed my bachelor's degree and I could not have done it without their support," says an anonymous Delta Library patron. Delta County Libraries supports adult literacy with classes, distance learning opportunities, and high school equivalency testing.

"We are so thankful for our patrons, friends, and volunteers for their continued support of the libraries," says Lea Hart, district director of Delta County Libraries. "We want to wish everyone here in Delta County a happy and safe Thanksgiving."

Do you want to share why you are thankful for the libraries? Visit Delta County Libraries Facebook page at www.facebook.com/delta

libraries/ or email dcpld@deltalibraries.org.

Delta County Libraries close at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, and will remain closed Thursday, Nov. 23, for Thanksgiving. For a complete calendar of events visit Delta County Libraries' website at http://www.deltalibraries.org/calendar/.

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