Strong Communities

Libraries Build Strong Communities
"People may go to the library looking mainly for information, but they find each other there.” 
- Robert Putnam 

1. Libraries are the "People's University" 

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2. Libraries Build Community

New moms connect at baby story-times; elderly people, often facing difficult life transitions, attend events and find that they make new friends; teenagers meet up in libraries’ teen spaces after school; and readers discuss current events in the periodicals room. In libraries, community-building connections are happening all the time! Libraries also:

  • Help revitalize neighborhoods and downtowns.
  • Provide archives that preserve artifacts, documents, and oral histories connecting us to our shared past and cultural identity.
  • Serve as catalysts for addressing social problems. 
  • Champion and reflect democratic values.
  • Are culturally relevant structures rich in symbolism and meaning.
  • Provide important business resources, especially for small local businesses.

3. Libraries are Community Centers for Diverse Populations

Libraries are a place where everyone is welcome. They provide:

  • Immigrants with helpful information about, and opportunities to connect with, their new communities.
  • Help to ensure that non-English speakers see themselves represented in their communities.
  • Information and resources for LGBTQ customers.
  • Information and resources for the homeless population.
  • Information and resources for customers with disabilities.

4. Libraries are Cultural Centers

  • Give voice to non-mainstream points of view by showcasing local artists and writers
  • Offer resources and opportunities for cultural appreciation and hands-on learning.
  • Provide access to all - events are always free and open to the public.

5. Libraries are Champions of Youth

  • Provide essential early literacy skills.
  • Teach teens important life skills.
  • Help kids succeed in the classroom with tutoring, homework support, and reading programs.
  • Support early childhood development and family engagement.

Adapted from "Community Centered: 23 Reasons Why Your Library Is the Most Important Place in Town"
by Julie Biando Edwards, Melissa S. Rauseo, & Kelley Rae Unger 

Contact Us

Phone: (208) 972-8200
Telecirc: (208) 384-4450
TTY: 1-800-377-3529
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Director: Kevin Booe

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