Adam Winger, director, North Logan City Library

“The library website has been hacked!” My week started off with a little more drama than usual as I tried to figure out why our web address, as well as 17 other libraries’ websites, had been targeted by hackers. My quick and dirty efforts to get a new website up revealed why a library is a target. I call it The Power of 10+.

Collections may be a prerequisite for a library, but good reads alone are not enough to make a library excellent. The Power of 10+ simply means that a library offers more than 10 reasons for people to visit. We have great libraries in Cache Valley that easily offer The Power of 10+, which became obvious as I worked on our website. Here are some great things happening at libraries in Cache Valley:

  1. Fantastic collection. You can’t walk into a library without finding something that merits your reading attention. Where else can you find something to read for learning, entertainment or guilty pleasure? If the library doesn’t have what you want, then simply request it.
  2. Engaging story times. There are Spanish language story times, creative play story times and even special guest readers like Cinderella from the Cache Valley Civic Ballet.
  3. Coding clubs. These offer learning opportunities for kids, teens and adults ranging from basic ideas to complex web development.
  4. iPad and technology training for seniors are offered at several of our local libraries.
  5. Free fitness classes. Offered several times each week at the North Logan Library, mothers can come work out while their toddlers enjoy a craft.
  6. Summer reading programs. These help bridge the learning gap between school years as well as offer numerous fun things to keep kids busy and learning.
  7. Public use of computers, free wifi and open study/work space. It can be hard to get everything done at home; many people use the library simply as a place to get things accomplished.
  8. At any public library, you’ll find people there simply to read the morning paper, see familiar faces and exchange pleasantries.
  9. Several libraries have MakerSpaces for creative projects. There are so many creative people in Cache Valley using libraries for fascinating projects.
  10. Farmer’s Markets and community programs bring people together. People of different ages and different walks of life come together and have conversations in ways that no other public institution can facilitate.

A good public library is about creating the greater capacity to self-organize in our community — to pilot our own destiny, to express outrage, solidarity or celebration, to exchange and innovate and incubate new ideas, and yes, to check out books.

When communities come together to shape their public libraries, these commons can become a platform to explore, enrich and engage.