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Libraries are COOL!

Portage Public Library | Portage, Wisconsin

 

Our family has moved from city to city a handful of times. Every time we reach a new town to call home, one of the first places I find is the library. I find solace in the library – there’s a comfortable consistency in knowing that the library is a peaceful place where I can spend hours just browsing titles and relaxing. The library is a safe place where my kids are not only welcome, they are encouraged to come. As a child, sometimes without a friend to play with, I discovered that it’s not weird to be alone at the library. Walking through the stacks, I could find books that would carry my thoughts away to any place or time that I wanted to go: space, the beach, the Civil War, and more.

The Portage Public Library is a fantastic place to visit, and I’m lucky to know it so well. My children who are now 10 and 8, first attended story time at this welcoming spot. After their years of story time, they went on to primary school but their days at the library didn’t end. We continued to attend special community events, like family movie night and special guests such as jugglers and musicians.

A few years ago, the library underwent a renovation and the new Children’s Wing was opened. This new space, fully dedicated to developing readers, is simply amazing! When I come with my toddler these days, sometimes we play with toys; other times we read books; maybe we will do a craft; sometimes we visit with friends for a playdate. The one thing that’s consistent is that we always know we will have a great time!

Sometimes I wonder what the future will hold for libraries. The digital age has ushered in e-readers and audio books, as well as digital music, magazine subscriptions, and even meetings broadcast by video. But I don’t see libraries as being a relic that goes away silently… I see libraries as the last remaining safe place for families. Through all my years, libraries have always represented a home, of sorts. I can find a friendly face, I can find help if I need to learn something, I can find a cool place to rest when it’s hot outside. I am not judged by how many books I read (or don’t read). I’m just encouraged to take advantage of all they have to offer. Libraries will always have a special place in my heart.

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