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Library users were recently asked the question “Why is your public library important to you?” More than 400 people in Laurel County participated. Some of the prevalent comments were“To help me be successful in today’s economy.” and “It has a lot of different books and DVDs that my family and I enjoy free of charge.”
One young mother wrote “My kids love to come to the library. I use it all the time for school.”
Several users made the point that “The library is one of the biggest assets in Laurel County”.
The library’s numbers support what users are saying. The Laurel County Public Library and the services offered are of great value to the people here.
Last year 17,000 children attended programs conducted at the library. Over 350 programs were sponsored by the library for children and their parents. Studies have proven time and time again that children who are exposed to reading and mental stimulation early in life have a greater success rate in school and eventually more able to compete for better jobs.
Seventy four percent of Laurel County’s residents have library cards. The number, now over 44,000, is a clear reflection of community values. The number of books and audio-visual materials checked out last year was over 544,000. This is four times higher than the amount of items that went out in the old facility on Fourth Street.
One of the most surprising facts is that Laurel County’s library is the ninth most active in the state of Kentucky.
More than 250,000 people used the three public library locations last year. Only eight communities in Kentucky see a higher circulation and more traffic. Those communities are all cities with larger populations. The demand for quality library services remains high here.”
Additionally more than 47,000 Internet searches were done last year at the library. All age groups take advantage of the free services offered at the library, but those who seem to be the most appreciative are families and individuals living on fixed incomes. Books, DVDs, CDs, Internet searching, children’s programs, adult programs that include jazz concerts, theater productions, art shows and craft festivals are all available to the public.
A retired teacher living on a fixed income commented “It’s fabulous! What would I do without our wonderful library?”
The main library is open seven days a week. There are two branches in East Bernstadt and Corbin. For more information call the library’s main number at 864-5759.
Libraries around the country are celebrating National Library Week. There are so commemorations I doubt many stop to think exactly what it is we have to be happy about and why.
The public library in London, Kentucky is a healthy organization serving a vibrant community with a variety of learning needs.
Last year Laurel Countians checked out 294,000 books, 15% above the state average and 12th in the state for book circulation. The total number of items circulated was 520,000, 40% above the state average, and the 9th largest amount in the state.
Reading demands are on the rise in Laurel County among all age groups along with the need for audio books, DVDs and CDs.
Program attendance at the library has exploded both in adult and children’s activities. Programs on jazz, dance, Shakespeare, Kentucky writing, puppets and reading to your infant are among the most well attended events.
I encourage everyone to stop by this month and take advantage of all the library offers. It is worth a visit and certainly worth celebrating!
Abraham Lincoln was a firm believer that “books change lives”. He was taunted for spending so much time reading and scolded for being “lazy”. Today we celebrate the life of this extraordinary man who pressed on in this country during a painful time in our history. Born into humble beginnings in Hodgenville, Kentucky, Lincoln learned out of necessity the value of honest, hard work and cherished every minute spent with a good book.
Lincoln has been referred to for his brilliant political strategies and vision as a leader.
Lincoln’s accomplishments and ideas would never have been achieved without that initial love of learning at an early age that carried him through adulthood.
He reminds us today that books see no boundaries, they are equalizers of men and women who will choose them. Books open doors as they unlock minds and set forth new ideas and more importantly shape patterns of thinking.
Thank you, Mr. Lincoln. We are deeply indebted to you.
Libraries across the country are seeing a boom in business, and Laurel County is no exception.
Our overall number of books, DVDs and audio material items checked out is up 13 percent…or an average of 5600 per month. So far this year almost 300,000 items have been checked out from this library and the Internet has been used 22,000 times, an increase in usage of 30%.
The users of this library understand what a bargain the public library is, especially during tight economic times.
Where else in London can you go to borrow from a book selection of over 130,000 titles? Using the Internet at the library is free, you only need to sign up for a library card. The library sponsors nine programs a week for children and their parents to encourage reading and learning activities. We have adult programs each month, free of charge, geared toward a variety of topics, but all planned with our users in mind, and yes, they are free of charge and open to the public.
The idea for public libraries was a brainchild of that great American, Benjamin Franklin. Prior to public libraries in America there were private “circulating libraries” among friends or within clubs. This served a purpose, but Franklin’s vision was a greater more egalitarian one. He saw the need to open experiences to the whole population.
We can be grateful to him for his vision. He would also be well pleased with the activity in Laurel County.