Most people think of libraries as a local book warehouse with reading room, but they are much more! In many communities, they offer free internet access (without having to buy coffee), free educational programs for kids and adults, access to music, movies, documentaries, photographs, primary research documents such as letters and diaries and audio narratives, as well as community meeting rooms, art and cultural exhibits, and more. If you are in Washington, D.C., our Library of Congress must not be missed! It is a cathedral built in honor of literature and learning. Tucked away upstairs is the Children's Literature Center and the office of our Chief Children's Librarian, Dr. Sybille Jagusch. She has remained at her post through decades of oval office turnover and turmoil. Hail to the Chief!
One of my favorite specialty libraries is the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. It's the nation's second largest archives specializing in African history and culture related to the Diaspora, and African Americans. A current exhibit showcases Bunce Island in Sierra Leon, the gateway most enslaved Africans passed through on their way to American soil. Preserving our history and culture, inviting dialog, support of study, and encouraging understanding: this is the heart and soul of our community libraries.