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Celebrate reading, celebrate your library

The American Library Association sponsors National Library Week, which will be observed April 12 through 18 this year. Additionally, many school libraries celebrate April as School Library Media Month. This is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and their staffs and promote library use.

Libraries are an amazing resource to everyone. You can learn about history and peek into the future. You can explore distant lands or distant stars. You can check your e-mail, check the family tree or check out a literary masterpiece. And if you can't find what you're looking for, there are research experts on staff to get you started in the right direction.

In Harrison County, we have a lot to celebrate. The county library is working to open branches in Lanesville and Palmyra, and not too far behind, a branch is planned in the old Elizabeth School. All of our schools have libraries staffed by specialists who help our children find and interpret the information they need to learn and explore.

The Harrison County Community Foundation is proud to support young readers through the Imagination Library program where every enrolled child receives a book in the mail each month until their fifth birthday. We have also partnered with the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana for the Dictionary Project, placing a dictionary in the hands of every Harrison County third-grader.

Three years ago, many Harrison County residents joined with the Foundation in creating School Library Endowment Funds. Since 2006, more than $40,000 in income from these accounts has been made available to help buy new books or other resources to support our school libraries.

Many library groups select the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 14) as a day for library staff, users, administrators and friends' groups to recognize the contributions made by all library workers. In celebration of Library Week, I'd like to suggest everyone visit your local library. Ask your favorite media specialist or librarian to recommend a good book. They'll be thrilled to help.

Steve Gilliland, Executive Director, Harrison County Community Foundation
April 01, 2009

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