4 Ways to Support Massachusetts Libraries

March 15, 2023  | 

At Massachusetts Business Network, we’re big supporters of our local libraries and strongly encourage our readers and all Massachusetts stakeholders to advocate for these establishments in their area. How can you support your town or city’s library? Although your mind may instantly think about making a monetary donation, it isn’t the only option, and it’s certainly not the sole way for making a true impact on your community.

Before we share how you can support these institutions, let’s dive into why you should support them in the first place — specifically, the benefits that libraries provide to our communities.

Why You Should Support Massachusetts Libraries

They Promote Literacy

As expected, libraries help to promote literacy, especially with adults who struggle with reading, identifying a specific location on a map, supporting their children with their homework, and more, as I Love Libraries shares. By providing resources and services for individuals who are seeking to improve their reading and writing skills, libraries make a huge difference for those who may have had a nontraditional education and now seek support in their adult lives.

When children and adults alike walk into a library, they’re enamored of the amount of books that line the shelves and the magic that comes with curling up with and getting lost in a good book. How can you not instantly feel at home at this place?

They Provide Equitable and Inclusive Access to Technology

One of the biggest benefits of a public library is it provides equitable and inclusive access to technology, which was especially crucial during the pandemic. Not every household has access to computers, tablets, or mobile devices — for a variety of reasons — and they rely on libraries for this purpose. According to the American Library Association (ALA), these individuals are typically:

  • Aging populations (60 and above)
  • Incarcerated individuals (other than individuals who are incarcerated in a Federal correctional facility)
  • Low-income households
  • People with disabilities
  • People with language barriers (including individuals who are English learners; and have low levels of literacy)
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Rural inhabitants
  • Veterans

Regardless of who you are, living in a digital world means it’s crucial for all individuals to have access to technology in order to stay connected and have equal opportunities in their lives and careers. Libraries achieve this by providing:

  • Reliable Internet services
  • Internet-enabled devices, such as a computer
  • Applications and online content for participation, collaboration, and self-sufficiency

Whether individuals need technology to work, pursue their education, take care of their health, or simply stay connected to family members and friends, libraries make it possible for them to have access to these devices at no cost in a way that’s convenient for them.

They Encourage Career Development and Entrepreneurship

Are you looking to further your career or pursue entrepreneurship? Libraries can support you with that. Patrons have access to a number of tools, including:

  • Work space
  • Internet
  • Photocopiers and printers
  • Books
  • Specialty databases

And more. With the help of these resources, you’re able to take the next steps in building your professional life to what you envision it to be.

Additionally, libraries often host programs related to these topics that help to educate and support individuals as they think about what’s next in their professional lives. These programs might include:

  • Job searching
  • English language learning
  • Small business and entrepreneurship

Amongst others. By offering these workshops and seminars at no cost, all individuals have the opportunity to advance professionally, allowing them to achieve whatever career goals they’ve set for themselves.

They Host Engaging Events for the Community

If you look at a library’s calendar, it’s likely full of events that cater to the community. What’s a better way to feel a part of where you live than by attending programs led by your local library? These events touch upon a variety of ages and interests and may consist of:

  • Storytime and crafts for babies and toddlers
  • Reading challenges for kids of all ages
  • Family-friendly events
  • Book clubs for adults
  • Educational workshops for teens and adults

And more. By engaging in these activities, you’re able to meet other members of your community and likely learn something new!

How to Support Massachusetts Libraries

There are a handful of ways that you can support Massachusetts libraries beyond donating money or volunteering. If you feel passionate about providing help to these institutions that do so much for our local communities, here’s how you can give back to them.

Volunteer Your Time

Do you have additional time in your schedule, whether it’s at night or on the weekend, that you can spare? Consider volunteering at your local library! Whether you want to provide aid to the librarians in their programs, help restock shelves, work with youth, or something else, there’s no shortage of work at a library.

The best way to get involved is to reach out to your local’s director and ask them what their biggest needs are at the moment to see if they align with your interests and availability.

Offer a Program

Is there a topic that you feel passionate about and are interested in teaching? Offer to host a workshop or seminar on the subject at your library. Not only will you be providing value to patrons for free, but the workshop or seminar will also help to attract new members and increase foot traffic! Once individuals are in the door to the library, they’ll likely become interested in other services and resources the library has to offer.

Sponsor Their Initiatives

If your library hosts any events that are seeking sponsors, consider becoming a sponsor, whether it’s through a monetary or in-kind donation. These events will often have signage that lists the names of their donors, which means that if you have a company that becomes a sponsor, you’ll have the opportunity to have your name seen in front of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people.

What could be better than showing the members of your community that you value, appreciate, and support your local library?

If your library doesn’t typically give the opportunity for companies to sponsor events, continue donating money anyway! These funds contribute to the success of future programs and events and may even be used to purchase new books and other materials for patrons to enjoy.

Share Their Programs

Are you looking for an easy, low-maintenance way to support your local library? Share their programs with your family members and friends. Simply spreading the word about the exciting initiatives happening at these establishments allows more people to benefit from what libraries offer.

Receiving Support as a Massachusetts Library

Partnering with Massachusetts Business Network

Could your library use additional support and exposure with achieving your goals? Massachusetts Business Network is here to spread the word about your exciting initiatives and how you support local professionals. If you’re interested in collaborating, please fill out our contact form.

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