SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — In honor of National Library Week, Live Oak Public Libraries are seeking out stories that show their impact on the local community.
The library system launched its Share Your Library Story this week, inviting people to submit written words, photos and videos demonstrating how libraries have left a mark on their worlds.
“I got into libraries because I believe that libraries make a difference in people’s lives,” said library executive director David Singleton.
“Share Your Library Story is about people telling us about how the library has made a difference to them, whether it’s helping them get a job, helping them learn a new skill, helping their child with early literacy skills, whatever it is that’s made a difference,” Singleton told WSAV NOW.
In sharing his own personal library story, he says he was a first-generation college graduate with a grandfather that could neither read nor write.
“When I finally got to the public library, I could not believe all the books, all the words, all the knowledge that was around me, and that’s one of the reasons I became a public librarian,” Singleton said.
For some, he adds, the appreciation of libraries goes beyond the bookshelves.
“We see everyday people who come in to use us to develop their first resume,” Singleton said. “They feel unsteady with their word skills, for example, so they come in for that help, and we are able to help them develop a resume and hopefully get a job.”
National Library Week runs through April 10, but Singleton says Live Oak Public Libraries will accept submissions for the Share Your Library Story initiative throughout the year.
This year’s National Library Week theme, “Welcome to Your Library,” recognizes that the reach of the resource centers extends outside their walls and into the communities they serve.
Singleton says the “extremely resilient” local libraries have adapted their offerings during the pandemic.
“We were offering digital programming within seven days of the closure last year, and we’ve continued that tradition with [adjusting] our services to what people need at the time,” Singleton said.
“We’re just starting pop-up programmings, which are live programs outside with masks for people over 6 years old, and it’s a way for us to get back to in-person programming,” he said.
“Another example is drive-in storytime, drive-in movies, and we’re piloting that at five locations across three counties,” he added.
To submit to the Share Your Libary Story project, participants can visit liveoakpl.org/librarystory. They can also share them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to @liveoakpl, using the hashtag, “#mylibrarystory.”
“If you don’t feel comfortable with technology, you can come into a library, tell your story to a staff member and they can put it through the website for you,” Singleton said.
Live Oak Public Libraries will give out 300 hundred mugs to people who share their stories.