During the recent Harry Potter Day event at Airdrie Public Library (APL), I saw a familiar young patron sitting cross-legged on a chair in the children’s DVD/Blu-ray section.
She was reading a young adult novel.
I won’t use her real name, but for the sake of clarity we’ll call this young patron Clara.
Clara comes to the library often, and despite the chaos around her that day, she was immersed in her book.
I approached and asked her how she could read with so much going on.
She shrugged and said the noise didn’t bother her, and then she said this:
“I like reading here – it’s peaceful.”
I laughed and said something like, “that’s cool,” and then wondered off to photograph Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.
However, Clara’s sincere response reminded me of the diverse reasons why people use libraries.
Many patrons use their free library card to read the books they can’t afford to buy. Others come for the free all-ages programming, or special events, or for the free Wi-Fi and computer use. Others use the facility to study and to write exams in their quest to build a better future for themselves and their families.
People like Clara come because they find solace among the stacks.
This is why, in any library in Alberta, you’ll find welcoming and inclusive spaces where everyone, no matter their ethnic, cultural, or economic background, is just like you – a reader, a learner, a human.
In these libraries, you’ll find books on just about any topic, from the world’s religions and philosophies to human biology and sexuality.
Libraries are inclusive spaces because they welcome everyone, including a young reader who thinks of the library as a place where she can sit and read, even with hordes of spell-casting wizards running around.
To learn more about APL’s programs, events, and resources, visit airdriepubliclibrary.ca