It was only a matter of time really, consider it a professional hazard. As evidenced by the above title, tonight’s I [heart] Hibbing focus is the Hibbing Public Library. Now the reason I’ve chosen to write about this actually has very little to do with the fact that I’m a librarian. I was actually inspired to choose this topic by a suggestion to like a Facebook page from a friend the other day. The page in question was “Arrowhead Legacy Events”, which is basically a central location for publicizing free history, arts, and culture events that are funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment which are coordinated by the Arrowhead Library System (of which Hibbing is a member).
Perhaps the most popular and recognized component of this program are the free passes to select area museums, however, this program also covers various guest artists, musicians, and historians as I understand it. Apparently it also provides funding for the creation of various art installations at public libraries in the region as shown in the pictures on the library system’s blog to be found here. This, in my opinion, is a great example of how a community’s quality of life can be improved by people coming together for a common purpose.
In my experience, it can be easy to brush aside local public libraries with the thought that their programming is solely for children and families with events like the popular children’s summer reading program. Programs like the Legacy Amendment remind us that places like libraries can serve a much greater function in our community. They are gathering places. Places to seek information, knowledge, and entertainment. And, in my observation, they are places that are easily overlooked or under appreciated.
Think about it. When was the last time you visited the Hibbing Public Library? What did you do there? Have you ever taken advantage of the museum pass program or attended a cultural event? Why or why not? I invite you to share your thoughts below.