Library Officials: “We’re more than books … We are a destination place”
Creation, innovation, partnerships, and education were just some of the words used to describe the mission of Montgomery County Public Libraries during a Silver Spring Advisory Board meeting on Nov. 10.
Library officials talked to members of the community about library services, programs and opportunities for residents of all ages. They also said the Ethiopian community is one of the “heavier users” at the Silver Spring library.
“We’re an education destination … and we provide opportunities for folks to come together,” said Parker Hamilton, director of Montgomery County Public Libraries.
Hamilton said partnerships are a way to remove barriers in the community and bring people together. They have partnered with organizations such as Gandhi Brigade, Impact Silver Spring, and the Ethiopian Cultural Association.
“Ethiopian Cultural Association, marvelous group, so interested in their children and their families,” Hamilton said.
The director also said the department is adding more world languages to its libraries.
“We’re doing that for people who are new to America and want to continue to read in their native language. But we’re also finding out that more and more folks in America want to read in other languages,” she said.
According to Montgomery County Public Libraries website, since 1986, libraries have purchased adult and children’s books and periodicals in Amharic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Spanish is a big hit among people in the community, Hamilton added.
“We’re more than books. Libraries have evolved over the years and we are a destination place,” Hamilton said.
Library officials added they hope the libraries become more and more a place for people who want to innovate, use meetings rooms to put business plans together, and network.