As National Library Week comes to a close, there is a sense that the opportunity to spread the "wealth" that awaits in every library should be shared every day, of every week and of every year. Each library around my area have celebrated this week in different and creative ways. From each of them I have been inspired about the prospects of what I can do for my patrons in the coming months. The other night, the library where I worked had a program and the library was packed. The topic was about Hamtramck, Detroit's own little Poletown, and how it has changed over the years. Watching the patrons, young and old alike, come in for the program, a flash of "aha" moment came into my head. This is why libraries are so important, the keys to the past, present and futures lies within for anyone to capture for themselves. It may sound corny or nostalgic but it's a true and worthwhile to repeat.
Libraries have a long and colorful history. They are in my humble opinion, the first Do-It-Yourself centers of learning. Where else can a person gain a free education and learn at their own pace? Libraries main purpose in every community has not changed. They are the source to go to when one is in need of information, books, or CDs. That's not to say that there hasn't been changes. Boy, have things changed in the past twenty-five years since my first job in a library. As an example, some of the things I miss like the card catalogs, (which I love so much that I have one at home) the paper indexes, and finally the ever faithful microfilm machine have been replaced by computers. It is absolutely amazing to me that technology has changed so quickly that it three tools that libraries once depended on have now been replaced by one machine: the computer. Life moves forward, and libraries thankfully have moved along with the times.
Since I am allowing myself to be nostalgic and sentimental, it seems appropriate to thank all the librarians that have gone before me, and paved the way for librarians like myself. If it were not for their vision, dedication and hard work, libraries would not be functional today. They truly were trailblazers in so many ways. I can only hope that the work that I do today will inspire the next crop of professional librarians to take up the torch and the light the way for the patrons who are in search of the keys to the past, present and future.