State Library Serves Public with Dizzying Array of Services
Oversight Shifts to Secretary of State
PHOENIX – Libraries aren't just a place for reading anymore. They provide an essential link to our communities and the larger world beyond our neighborhoods. Libraries today serve as multi-use community centers. Many provide free after school and evening literacy programs; serve as a showcase for local artwork, and have computer instruction available for people of all ages.
During difficult economic times it's even more important to take advantage of services our libraries offer communities for little, if any cost. It's with that in mind that we celebrate National Library Week during the second week of April.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country. All types of libraries - school, public and academic participate in the festivities.
"Arizona's library system is one of the best in the country," said Secretary of State Ken Bennett. "Every Arizonan should be proud of the work our local libraries do in our communities. Arizona's library programs are budget-friendly and cost-efficient which is especially important while our state is suffering through an economic downturn.
The state library serves the Arizona Legislature and Arizonans by fostering historical and cultural collaborative research, provides access to public information and ensures that Arizona's history is documented and preserved.
"The library's goal to provide access to information to the public is consistent with our mission at the Secretary of State's office," continued Bennett. "That's why we urged the legislature to transfer oversight of the agency to our office. One of the responsibilities of the Secretary of State's office is preserve official documents and make them available to the public. It just made sense to move the state library and archive under our purview."
SB 1123, recently signed into law by Governor Brewer, transferred oversight from the purview of the state library from the Legislature to the Secretary of State.
"I'm not sure people understand the vast array of services that our library system makes available to the public," said the Secretary. "From archival services, museums and records management to the library for the visually and physically disabled, the library is Arizona's connection to the past, present and future."