LIBRARY CORNER: Libraries have power to transform lives, communities

 

 When you read this, I will be on vacation with my husband. We are journeying not too far, though far enough to feel the restorative and transformative powers of change. Change of scenery, of pace, of energy and of routine. When we return, I know I will feel rejuvenated, which will bring greater vision and clarity to my work, my relationships and all I am involved in. We are fortunate to have this opportunity.

It is not always possible to take weeks of time to reflect and recharge. Sometimes we need to grab those moments when we can or try to intentionally carve out “meditative” time. Sometimes we just need to transform ourselves in place, to open our senses fully and experience things anew. Experience in a way that challenges our assumptions, our traditional way of thinking and our immediate and habitual response.

Public libraries across the United States are talking about how libraries transform not just lives, but communities. I truly believe this is so and have the good fortune to work with a staff that also believes in the transformative power of libraries. We are engaging the community in new programs that support families with differently abled children, that help entrepreneurs clarify their visions, that reach out to teens who may not automatically be drawn to a library, and that engage adults who may not have a built-in community. We are engaging the community through diversifying our collections, developing native plant gardens and open space, and getting out and engaging with community organizations.

We need your help and support to do all of this and to go further. You are the library. Without you, your input and support, none of this would happen. You are the vital ingredient in the library’s ability to transform lives and community.

I ask you to reflect on the role the library has played in your life, that of someone you know and/or in your community as a whole. I ask you, too, to support the library through the annual appeal that just went out. Your financial support will assist us in continuing to innovate, engage and transform.

As much as I look forward to my vacation, I also look forward to returning and continuing to engage and transform with my staff and this community. We all work well together, especially when we have the best professional talents and financial resources.

Adeline Ciannella is the director at the William Jeanes Memorial Library and Nicholas and Athena Karabots Center for Learning, which is located at 4051 Joshua Road, Lafayette Hill, and serves Whitemarsh Township and the surrounding communities. If you have any questions about the library’s services, please visit jeaneslibrary.org or call 610-828-0441.