Earlier this month, I walked into the library and was stopped in my tracks by this gorgeous display of portraits in front of me. “I geek acting.” “I geek gardening.” “I geek vampires.” What the? I wondered. Then I looked closer and realized this was a campaign of some sorts. And then I realized, it wasn’t just any campaign. This was the Geek The Library project. In a nutshell, here’s what this project (being sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) is all about:
The campaign hopes to inspire a conversation about our incredible public libraries and their urgent need for increased support. We hope you tell people what you geek, how the public library supports you and your community, and that everyone in your community benefits from the services your local library provides.
Friends, this all hit me like a slap in the face. I grew up as a little kid thinking the most sacred place next to my Lady-Lovely Locks shrine of a bedroom was our local library. My mom and I would pick out a stack of picture books half my height. Then, two weeks later, we’d do it all over again, letting our white-haired librarian, Beulah, check them out for us. Still, to this day, when I walk into a library, I feel like I’m home, there amidst stacks of books, each whispering a different story if only I’d pull it off the shelf and open its pages.
Libraries are glorious resources and so, it pains me to think that they are under-funded and, in most cases, under pressure. I know libraries across the country—including in my city—are cutting hours, cutting staff, and, in some cases, closing their doors. So, what does this all mean? Quite honestly, I’m not sure. But I do know, I don’t want to live in a world without libraries—and I’m pretty sure you don’t either. It’s the one place where any of us can go and—regardless of our age, race or socioeconomic class—have access to books, the Internet, computers, movies…all of it. And for free, no less.
This is why I want to be a part of this campaign and share what it is that I geek with all of you. And (surprise, surprise), I don’t think I geek anything more than books. Those in my own collection, those from the library, those that I follow on GoodReads. Books take me everywhere. They take all of us there, if we let them. And I’ve always said, as long as I have a book in my hand, I can wait anywhere. That I’m never alone.
I also geek this campaign. Pretty hard. So much so that I felt compelled to blog about it here. To start visiting my library even more than I already do. Even if you aren’t a big book lover, there are still reasons aplenty to pay a visit to the library (though picking up a book again IS definitely one of them!). And if you don’t have a library card, get one now (September is Library Card Sign-up Month). Our libraries need us as much as we need them and I want to do everything I can not to let ‘em down. If that means I need to read even more, well, twist my arm already because this geek is ALL IN!
What do you guys think? Are you library patrons? What’s the last great book you’ve read? What do YOU geek? And if you’re looking for a great book to GET you reading again, let me know. I love turning people on to my favorite books!