One of my favorite moments at the Elsie Quirk Library has been hearing a woman who had recently gained citizenship talk about how much libraries have meant to her. She said that her two favorite American institutions are NASA and libraries! Everyone knows that astronaut is the coolest job ever, but it is nice to have it affirmed that librarian is a close second. Astronauts may win out for doing grand, spectacular, and brave things like leaving the Earth’s atmosphere and drinking tang, but here at the Elsie Quirk Library we do some pretty awesome earthbound stuff. We show people how to download e-books; help people find the books they’re looking for and the books they didn’t even know they were looking for; connect people who would otherwise not interact, helping to create common ground; and provide programs and resources for people (like the lovely patron who put us in the company of NASA) to learn a new language, become a citizen, understand their rights, seek a new job, embark on a journey of life-long-learning, or research how to become an astronaut.
This month, at Elsie Quirk we have two new offerings to keep up our reputation of being on par with NASA. For English language learners, we have free kits with abundant materials for practicing reading, and writing, and developing vocabulary skills. These kits are for patrons to keep, and need not be returned. We also have Bi-Folkal Kits, which can be checked out using your library card, and then returned for others to enjoy. Bi-Folkal Kits are a stroll down memory lane, or a springboard for sharing reminiscences across generations. They include a DVD and/or CD, songbooks, activities, and multi-sensory items to explore traditions, holidays, cultural touchpoints, and more.
As proud as we are to be in the company of those who have walked on the moon, we are even more proud to serve each and every person who walks through the doors of the Elsie Quirk Library. We are here to serve the community, and we invite you to let us know what you need, how we can help, and what we can do to continue to be the best public initiative on earth…until the International Space Station opens a satellite public library, and then we will be the best public initiative in the universe!