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LIS 701-01

Crystal Garcia
Analysis and Written Communication Assignment
Fall 2014
October 05, 2014
Jonathan Shrems article discusses the impact of public libraries on students and lifelong
learners. He does this by acknowledging the many different programs and opportunities offered
by public libraries to their patrons and communities. Shrem states public libraries serve as
cornerstones for communities across New York State for accessing information and technology,
developing digital literacy skills, and providing numerous support services to students, families,
and communities. The same can be said about libraries all across this country. In fact, I saw
many similarities between the public libraries of New York and those in Illinois; specifically my
local library.
Since the 1980s public libraries have played a critical role in the preparation of early
learners. Helping preschools develop their reading and writing skills is one of the most important
ways in which libraries help their communities. Every Child to Read @ your library is a program
that aims to develop the capacity of early learners, while simultaneously teaching the early
literacy skills and information needed to help parents and caregivers support them. (Shrem, 6)
The Franklin Park Library offers its youngest patrons or Little Eagles this exact program. I
myself have been fortunate enough to assist the preparation of the program on several occasions.
For their back to school story-time session, I helped search and pull books with a first day of
school theme. I also assisted in finding poems, songs, and activities that matched the theme. The
children were able to read, sing, and clap along with the librarians. Other programs offered to

children in New York libraries that reflect those offered in Illinois are: Family Place Libraries,
Storytime Model for Large Group, Brooklyn Reads to Babies, and Books on Wheels.
Public libraries across the country serve the needs of all students. According to the article
one of the many goals of a public library is to raise achievement rates for all students. This is
done through programs which develop information and digital literacy skills. (Shrem, 9) Many of
the programs and services offered in public libraries are directed towards assisting
underrepresented populations. Some individuals do not have a home computer or access to
internet in their homes. The lack of access to infrastructure causes a digital divide in populations
and which leads to students falling behind in school and therefore, in society. Public Libraries
offer these individuals free access to computers and internet, giving them the opportunity to
sharpen their skills. During the summer I saw many young children coming into the library and
spending hours there. The fact that these children had a place to hang-out and get out of the
streets is just another way that the library indirectly helps its community.
Public libraries offer lifelong learning opportunities to all community members. They
offer common meeting spaces for interest groups, students, and businesses. (Shrem, 19) The
article also states that public libraries assist in the assimilation of immigrants into communities,
and are a hub for job seekers. While volunteering at my local library I witness these events first
hand. Many immigrants came to the library to work on their immigration papers. Because, they
weren't familiar with computers, emails, printers, and copiers the librarian assisted them
throughout the process. In many cases these individuals created an email for the very first time!
This allowed them to communicate with their lawyers faster and assimilate into American
society.

Job seekers were able to come in and research information, apply for jobs, and build their
resumes, all with the assistance of a librarian. Individuals would come in to print or copy items.
My local library even offers fax services at a fraction of the price compared to Office Max and
Office Depot. The librarians there are also very pro-technology and are offering classes to teach
older adults on how to use tablets.The article mentions that public libraries offer further
assistance to their communities by supporting E-Government. Do to efficiency more and more
documents are becoming available via the internet, this includes important government
documents, which means more people are turning to their local library for assistance in filling
out these items.
My friends and family joke about how libraries will go extinct. This article proves that
libraries are going no where. They are an important part of their community. Without the services
offered by their public libraries many communities would suffer great loses and advantages.
Unlike other institutions libraries provide their communities with free services and programs.
Without their local libraries individuals would have to pay for these needs. It is an institution that
will survive the times. No matter how much things change people will always need their public
library.