Libraries Build Community

Escape Room HA.jpgAn article in one of my professional journals reminded me of the mission statement at Capital Area District Libraries: Empowering our diverse communities to learn, imagine and connect. The emphasis in this article was on connecting people through library programs. Seeking connection is a national conversation because electronic communication has created a sense of loss of community.

The article began with a quote by Robert Putnam, author of the bestseller Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. He thinks public libraries play a vital role in maintaining our sense of community: “Libraries are more than books and technology. People may go to the library looking for information, but they find each other there. New moms connect at story times. Elderly people, often facing difficult life transitions, attend events and find that they make new friends. Teenagers meet up in libraries’ teen spaces after school and readers discuss books. In libraries, community-building connections are happening all the time.”

Either Mr. Putnam uses a public library, or he’s been looking in our windows! CADL Haslett offers three early literacy programs each week. Interactions between the kids and the adults before and after are just as valuable as the program itself. Seniors who attend our weekly Euchre lifestyle program have cultivated relationships with the library and with each other. We welcome teens every day after school and observe lots of community and connecting happening. Memories and opinions are shared at our three monthly book discussion groups.

Just shy of 8,000 people attended events at CADL Haslett last year, and over 60,000 attended system-wide. Folks are seeking and finding the opportunity to learn, imagine and connect. It’s satisfying to know CADL is doing our part to revive and sustain American community.

Capital Area District Libraries’ Haslett branch is located at 1590 Franklin Street in Haslett. For more information, call 517-339-2324 or visit

-Ann C., Head Librarian at CADL Haslett