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The Library ®evolution

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Yes, yes, we know. You probably don’t see the juxtaposition of the words “library” and “revolution” very often. But we’re convinced that people will begin to view  public libraries differently (if you haven’t already changed your perception). We’re betting that libraries are going to lead the revolution in our communities by bringing together community leaders, patrons, volunteers, and community partners in a way that keeps people connected. And we think it starts with summer meals.

Natalie Cole, Associate Executive Director of California Library Association said it best: “Libraries are the heart of the community.” No longer is is the library exclusively a place for those dinosaurs called “books” (although some of us luddites still love them). California libraries continue to evolve, keeping up with the ever-changing technology environment, yet continuing to be that sanctuary that they have always been. Some libraries like Oakland Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library’s central branch now even include hip, “hang out” zones for teens (and those youth librarians can probably get a better read on teens than any of us parents can!). Most offer a place to access the Internet — a critical resource for families that lack access at home.

But what remains the same is the time-honored commitment to serving families in the community. Libraries continue to connect families with services and resources, and foster  a love of learning and curiosity among our children. And now, some libraries will venture into new territory by offering summer meals to further that commitment to the kids in our communities. And perhaps this revolution isn’t limited to California. The Chicago Tribune recently reported that the West Chicago Public Library District will offer summer meals in conjunction with its local food bank.

Could we have a nationwide library revolution? We hope you’ll see for your self by joining us on June 13 at the Sacramento Library’s Valley Hi-North Laguna branch for a summer meal kick-off event in partnership with the California Library Association, USDA, California Department of Education, Elk Grove Unified School District and the Sacramento Public Library. Click here for details.

We’ll have to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next in the library ®evolution but we’re excited to see our communities’ greatest asset join the effort to ensure that kids are healthy and engaged in summer. Like the Beatles said, we all want to change the world.

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