Gonzales, LA – Libraries are full of stories and full of life. On any day of the week, visitors to any Ascension Parish Library (APL) location might find parents helping children develop early literacy skills through games and books, art programs for tweens and teens tapping into their creativity, or adults learning new skills to build a business plan. While thousands of stories are on the shelves, more untapped content exists in the library’s services and people who use it. This week (April 23-29, 2023), APL joins libraries across the nation to celebrate those stories during National Library Week. This year’s theme is There’s More to the Story. APL will recognize community members and contributions of staff to promote and support library use.
“Being a social being, you want to be a part of the community, and I think there’s no better place than the library,” said Raakhee, a frequent visitor to APL’s crafting programs. “I was able to see I have a creative side, and I’ve made good friends at the library.”
Raakhee is one of several APL Superusers who will be highlighted on the library’s social media platforms. She has also introduced her family, in India, to her newfound skills.
“Naturally, you are proud about what you’re doing, so you want to show it to your family. Now they ask me, ‘When are you going to the library? What are you making today?’” she said.
Libraries are known for the variety of stories they offer on the shelves and through digital services like ebooks and audiobooks, but there are many more community needs that libraries respond to. Last year, Ascension Parish Library hosted 2,005 events, for adults and youth, with an attendance rate of just under 77,000 people. APL cardholders saved $11,475,836.20 (not including electronic resources) by using the library in 2022.
“If you’re looking for your kids to do something educational or otherwise, there are fun things for them to do, and they can make friends, meet new people, and gain that community bond that you do get from being in the library,” said Candy, another APL superuser.
By providing access to the internet, technology, literacy classes, and support for businesses, APL aids in advancing community infrastructure. APL promotes lifelong learning for cardholders through our Library of Things (which includes museum passes, educational kits, and games). Library events for adults and children bring entertainment, education, and connection through book clubs, storytimes, crafting classes, and workshops.
“We want the community to visit and see what opportunities and resources we can connect them with,” said APL Director John Stelly. “It may not be a book. Maybe it’s a puzzle, a telescope, a fly-tying kit, a ukulele, or a board game. Maybe someone wants to take up crafting or learn to draw – we have programs for them too. The library is a space to innovate, read, create, and learn.”
Residents are encouraged to visit the library to learn more about their story, sign up for a library card, and follow @myAPLibrary on Facebook and Instagram to see highlights of staff and community users.
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