Have you checked out your local library lately? These days libraries offer way more than books. For a while now they have been offering other media such as CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, film archives, all kinds of magazines and newsletters, research rooms, voter registration, and tax forms. There are wireless Internet access and computer terminals for your use, which is great when you are away from home.
Some libraries have very interesting web sites with digital content and archives, blogs and photo galleries. These are really virtual libraries where you can check out eBooks, videos and music on line and download for use for a limited period of time.
Now libraries are becoming community centers with free activities, senior programs, exhibitions, lectures by authors, and classes on many subjects.
No wonder about 66% of American 50+ already have a library card. Maybe you have a card but have not kept up with the new services your library is offering.Â Now is the time to “check out” your library to get up to date.
Remember in the 60’s and 70’s when mon and pop businesses on main street in most small towns were being driven out of business by big box retailers like Walmart who settled on the outskirts of town on the bypass and near the edge of the freeways and sold at at discounts the Mom and Pops could not match?Â In additional to cheaper prices there was plenty of parking and the newness of it.Â Then after a while the main street of small towns were ghost towns.
Now many of small towns have their main streets and downtown section back in business with more mom and pop businesses like restaurants, clubs, music stories, antique shops, restored move theaters and more. There are town greens, town squares, bandstands, free concerts, art shows and people walking around taking it all in.Â A stroll around on main street of many small towns making you feel good and enjoy their comebacks. Â Â Some housing is even taking place in or near these walkable down towns with lofts being made from old buildings that were hotels or above store fronts or even new construction for people who like living in a walkable community.Â The buy local movement plays right in to these down towns with some having weekly farmers markets and seasonal festivals featuring local craftsman.Â Then there are new communities on the outskirts that try to bring this small town feel to lifestyle with a town square and walking trails, and some retail.
Some downtown in small towns are going beyond and becoming quite trendy and artsy sporting boutiques and tasty unique restaurants.Â Many times local governments have helped bring these downtown back by making improvements including building city centers to get things started.Â I am writing this post tonight after spending the day in Marietta Georgia, strolling around their town square, vising museums, antique shops, having lunch at a nice restaurant, stopping by the visitors center and buying tickets for a future concert on the square.Â Â There were many people strolling around and enjoying the Spring weather and this beautiful small town. It is good to see small towns across America make a come back.