WACO, Texas – It’s a unique story told in pictures and words at the Waco-McLennan County Central Library.
“These are our picture books, we have them displayed beautifully and we talk about everything under the sun.”
Here, Essy Day has been the director for six years.
“Here we have our books in Spanish and our books for young adults.”
On a tour of the Waco-McLennan County Central Library, she helps tell this unique story that takes place in worlds far away.
“Here is a book about space travel, people love to read these books.”
Or sometimes, taking place on worlds, we come to terms with our imaginations.
“Here’s something about wizards and spells.
This is our story.
“We have everything from the beginning of Waco’s history to the present and the modern. “
With enthusiasm and a smile, Day shows off the magic you find at the Waco-McLennan County Library. One place, she says, has changed.
“One thing I tell people is that it wasn’t your grandmother’s library anymore,” she said. “They expect us to tell people to shhh, and we expect them to be quiet, and we are not. It’s a community.”
In this community you will find Jessica Emmett-Sellers. She was one of Day’s first hires here at the library and is the Community Services Supervisor.
“One of the most important things people maybe don’t know about libraries is just that they’re open to everyone,” Emmett-Sellers explains.
However, not everyone reads.
New data from the Pew Research Center shows that about a quarter of American adults have not read a book in the past year. This includes books in print, electronic and audio form.
You can view the full survey results here.
The researchers also found that the demographic traits that characterize non-book readers often apply to those who have never been to a public library.
While it’s difficult to characterize exactly how the recent poll results stack up here at home, Emmett-Sellers said there was a positive trend here. A difference from other places across the country.
“So over time, every year the library visits increased, the circulation increased,” Emmett-Sellers explained. “It’s not typical of the country. Across the country, library trends are sort of declining or static, and we’ve seen an increase every year.”
While the trend of Americans reporting not reading books has fluctuated over the years, it resembles the same numbers seen in a previous research effort conducted in 2014. Some readers may find the survey results surprising given the growing popularity of streaming services and the changing ways people consume information and stories today.
Why has the percentage of non-book readers not increased significantly in recent years? Haven’t they heard of Hulu or Netflix? Why don’t they watch ‘Squid Games’ instead of reading a book?
Well, for young adult readers like Dale Riser, he said reading stories in the library is a better way to find out.
“I love TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I’m reading this one,” Riser said while choosing a Buffy the Vampire Slayer book.
Riser explained, reading a story right here at the Waco-McLennan Public Library makes him feel like he’s living in the story rather than watching it. And that here he found a place where he can go anywhere on an iPhone or via a streaming service.
“You can go anywhere you want,” he said. “It all depends on your strength. “
For more information on events, information and public libraries in the Waco-McLennan County area, visit here.
October is National Book Month.
A month-long celebration focused on the importance of reading, writing and literature. It is also an opportunity to pay tribute to some of the best books and authors in the country.
For more information on how to celebrate National Book Month, go here.