Have you checked out your library?

Need a place to study or learn a new skill? Your local libraries got you covered!

By Ashley Guidry

Now more than ever reading has proven essential to our education and overall health. Volunteers with Legacy’s Little Readers have learned low literacy among patients is tied to low health knowledge and less use of preventative care services.

Local libraries are filled with free books for people of all ages to pick out and read for themselves. Encouraging children to read consistently can enhance their attention span and exercise their language learning skills. For adults, it can lower dementia risk and prevent cognitive decline.

Like many community facilities, libraries were not exempted from lockdown. Although in-person visits took a hit post-pandemic, e-book checkouts have increased. Now after quarantine, you can read anywhere at any time whether on your computer or in person. As of September 2022, the Houston Public Library has more than 1.6 million active library card users. By going digital, local libraries have managed to keep up with modern changes.

Libraries have become more innovative in their pursuit of equity and improved education in their communities. Recently, libraries are looking to offer services unrelated to books like music, streaming platforms, recording studios, small laptops and printing services.

Furthermore, libraries have included skill-learning classes like programming and English-learning classes (ESL). They now provide locals with more activities outside the house that doesn’t dull their mind.

During the pandemic, studies have shown that libraries were one of the most trusted institutions in our country. They were helpful in the battle against disinformation about COVID that spread throughout the states. Communities for Immunity is a partnership with libraries and museums to share accurate vaccine information and provide funding to science centers. 117,000 American libraries educated their communities on health literacy and prevented at-risk skeptics from contracting the virus.

Libraries are essential to a healthier future. Locate your local library here and show them support!