Minding Your Business: Libraries are still needed in our society | Blogs


Spring events arise at the same time as the brightly colored tulips. Soon we will be dying eggs, holding Easter egg hunts in various parks and churches, and waiting for May to arrive. But for now, I’ve included some information and upcoming events throughout the region in honor of the changing seasons.

• The current average gas price in Tennessee is $3.96, according to the American Automobile Association. The Kingsport and Bristol average is $3.89.

• The Natural Tunnel will host the Spring Bird Walk and Guided Wildflower Walks starting Saturday. For more information, go to https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/natural-tunnel.

• The new Scooter’s Coffee will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at 11:00 am. The drive-thru cafe is located at 4287 Fort Henry Drive. Guests will earn 50 “smile” bonus points when checking out or scanning during the grand opening.

• Keep Kingsport Beautiful will be hosting a spring clean-up in the Riverview area Saturday from 9-11 a.m. Volunteers should meet at the Splash Pad. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/KeepKingsportBeautiful.

Notes from the field

When you drive through any given town, big or small, you’ll usually find a courthouse, post office, police and fire stations and, most entertaining option of all, a local library.

This week is National Library Week. It got me thinking about what really makes a library a special and necessary place – especially these days.

Decades ago, a library was the place to land information. Stacks of miscellaneous books, encyclopedias, and busy librarians helping eager learners through the shelves were at our disposal. Today, we pull our phones out of our pockets, mindlessly type any question we have (and, sometimes, any keywords we manage to carelessly string together) and we have thousands of results at our fingertips. tomorrow. It is a real blessing that we have these devices that can get us most of the information we might need or want in an instant. But libraries are still needed for various reasons in our society.

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The main reason may well be accessibility. This year’s theme for National Library Week is “Connect to Your Library”, which promotes a library’s ability to connect people to technology through broadband and provide computer access for everyone.

For those who think libraries are going to die, I believe that like any journal that wants to succeed in 2022 and beyond, libraries just have to move with the times. Internet connectivity is definitely a move in the right direction, along with audiobook alternatives and other growing markets.

Libraries are also community-oriented spaces. You can hold meetings, study groups, attend events, and take a short trip to the nearest public library for weekend entertainment. They also host a host of events throughout the year for all ages. This week, Kingsport Public Library will host a Bookopoly event featuring a giant book-themed Monopoly board, various storytime readings for children, a “craft and talk” terrarium event and more. (A full calendar of events is available at https://www.kingsportlibrary.org/event-calendar/#/events/)

Libraries are also great teaching tools for everyone, including homeschooled children, which is a growing group; According to the US Census Bureau, about 5.4% of US households with school-aged children reported homeschooling between late April and early May in 2020. In the fall, 11.1% of households with school-aged children have shifted to homeschooling.

Libraries are also filled with history that remains unchanged, which may offer some positives. The information you find was generally collected long before 2022 and its changing politics, agendas and ideologies. Physical books may not offer the most up-to-date information, but when it comes to topics like history, this aspect of a library can offer a different perspective than the online world full of biased and suppressed information. .

Libraries also offer another kind of connection – one that connects us to the past. It’s the perfect place to find books on local and regional history as well as other gems you won’t find elsewhere, like the history of Ridgewood Barbecue in Bluff City. (No kidding. Hope the local library still has that one on the shelf.)

This week I challenge you to consider going to your local library in honor of National Library Week and see what’s changed, what’s coming, and if you still have your old card. library somewhere deep in your wallet.

Who knows, you might stumble upon specific resources and books that you won’t find anywhere else.

Do you have a note to send me? Email me at [email protected]


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