If knowledge is power…

Published 7:41 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2018

When was the last time you visited your local library? Last week? Last month? Last year?

Regardless of your answer, you should consider a return trip in the near future. This week, April 8–14, marks National Library Appreciation Week. On March 29, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a proclamation declaring April as Library Appreciation Month in the state of North Carolina.

For millennia, from the Royal Library of Alexandria on down to the present, libraries have served as repositories for the entirety of human knowledge. Anything under the sun that anyone could ever want to learn about can be found at the library, especially in this day and age.

In this era of technology, one might think of the brick and mortar library as a relic of the past. However, that view could not be further from the truth. Libraries have changed dramatically in the past 30 years. New technologies now allow library patrons to access more information and resources than ever before.

At the Beaufort-Hyde-Martin Regional Library branches, patrons can do far more than just check out the latest book by their favorite author. With a library card in hand, patrons can access eBooks and audiobooks from libraries around the world, research their genealogy, browse scholarly journal articles or even learn a new language. The modern library literally places the collected knowledge of the world at your fingertips.

Libraries are also places of community. From story time for children to gatherings for seniors, the libraries of the BHM system offer a plethora of activities for all ages. In the next week alone, libraries throughout the BHM system will offer tax preparation services, yoga, career readiness training, computer classes and research assistance.

Perhaps most importantly, libraries are fundamentally egalitarian and democratic institutions. Every person who walks through the doors of a local library is equal to the next. There are no requirements of wealth to benefit from the library’s service. On the contrary, a library card is free to any man, woman or child who wants one, allowing infinite possibilities for patrons of all backgrounds to expand their minds.

Perhaps you are at a library right now, browsing the pages of the WDN in the periodical section. You might be reading our digital edition on one of the library’s free computers. Maybe it has been a decade since you last visited. In any case, it’s worth the trip.

For more information on what’s going on and what you can do at your local library, click to www.bhmlib.org, or visit branches in Belhaven, Bath, Aurora and Washington today.