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Letter: Libraries statewide respond to community needs

Our country is made up of individual communities, each with its own needs that can be as unique as the communities themselves.  In the middle on all of these challenges, often in the very heart of a community, there is a solution to meet these needs.  The solution is a trusted institution that makes a strong effort to understand our needs and provide a fulfilling and satisfying solution.  The solution is the community library.

Librarians listen and respond to community needs.  Libraries provide the space for diverse groups to come together for a common purpose and to tackle local issues.  Librarians work with elected officials, small business owners, students, seniors and the public at large to discover what their communities needs are and how to meet them.

The library helps foster all types of communities. We see this in our library firsthand, in ways big and small. New moms connect at storytime, small business owners convene to share opportunities or use library databases to aid business development, teens meet up to collaborate on projects, to get tutorial assistance and to hang out together after school.

Service to the community has always been the focus of the library. While this aspect has never changed, libraries have grown and evolved in how they provide for the needs of every member of their community.

This week, schools, campuses and communities across the country celebrate National Library Week.  It is a time to remember that all of the needs of our community matter to one of our most important institutions: our library.

Hulen E Bivins, State Librarian, North Dakota State Library