Lisa Downing and Adam Novitt: Praise libraries for role in community

Monday, April 16, 2018
Praise libraries for role in community

The theme of this year’s 60th National Library Week, April 8 to 14, was “Libraries Lead.”

Where do libraries lead? Libraries lead to stronger, more resilient communities, to lifelong learning, and to kids who are better prepared to succeed in school. Every day at Forbes and Lilly libraries, people telecommute to work, grandparents keep in touch with their families and patrons meet in interest groups from yoga to chess.

Volunteers go to the homes of those unable to come to the library, bringing books, DVDs and a friendly face.

Today, someone will pull a great book off the shelf and take it home and read it. Libraries lead our community by transforming the lives of individuals.

In an increasingly online world, the community-centered library is more necessary than ever. Forbes and Lilly remain at the center, literally and figuratively, of our communities, 125 years into their missions. Some would say they are at the heart — stop in and see why.

Lisa Downing


Adam Novitt


Downing is director of the Forbes Library in Northampton. Novitt is director of the Lilly Library in Florence.