We're observing all things library as National Library Week kicked off on Sunday.
For it's at our libraries where minds and imaginations are molded.
Stack after stack and row after row at our local library branches are home to bundles of dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases and other reference guides, but there's so much more. Today's libraries offer many new electronic services, too.
No matter the age, from 2 to 102, our local libraries offer endless amounts of information. Toddlers to teens can find Dr. Seuss and Harry Potter adventures, while adults can find biographies of U.S. presidents and chronicles of wars or even the latest thriller on the bestseller's list.
This year's theme is "You Belong @ Your Library."
Our Tri-State Area library branches serve as places where residents can go to find their favorite author's newest release, catch up on a recent magazine article or check out the Internet.
Our local libraries are up to date electronically, as eBooks selections - electronic versions of print books that can be downloaded from a library's Web site to a patron's home computer - are now available. And there's also the latest movies on DVDs. Today's libraries also offer student-oriented programs such as Homework Now, an online homework assistance program with professional tutors.
If you haven't visited libraries in Jefferson, Harrison, Brooke or Hancock counties recently, you're among the few.
Whether using a library's reference materials to complete a report; taking advantage of the resources to tune up job-search skills; or enjoying a film on a big screen during family movie nights, local libraries have been and will continue to be an invaluable source providing services and information to area residents who may not have had access otherwise.
We're all depending on our public libraries more these days, and that's a good thing.
Take time this week to visit the various branches of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County; the Brooke County Library in Wellsburg and the Follansbee Branch Library; Puskarich Library in Cadiz; the Mary H. Weir Public Library in Weirton; Swaney Memorial Library in New Cumberland; or the Lynn R. Murray Library in Chester.
You'll be among the masses who are finding everything they need is at their neighborhood branches.