From children’s storytime to computer classes for seniors, Roanoke Public Libraries offer a variety of services, programs and resources for everyone.  The library is committed to offering programs that promote cultural awareness, community involvement and life-long learning.

Promoting Early Literacy. Parents and educators alike say libraries are the number one resource to get children ready for school.  Since 2004, the library has been able to increase the number of early literacy programs offered by 80% thanks to funding from the Foundation.  Last year alone the library provided services to over 5,000 children under the age of 5.  Additionally, three of the libraries offer state-funded Early Literacy Centers, designed to promote early literacy by inspiring children to explore and learn.

Contributing to vibrant communities. In addition to developing quality programs and classes, the library also maintains meeting room space, available for use by non-profit groups, free of charge.  This is a critical library service because it provides a venue for civic groups, heritage societies, hobbyists, and non-profit organizations to have a voice within the local community.  Whether it is a literacy tutor teaching an ESL learner to read, a writing workshop hosted by the Blue Ridge Pens, or a practice session for Ministries in Motion dancers, library facilities are vibrant community centers where citizens learn, work and play.  The Library Foundation has helped create usable community spaces by funding building improvements and purchasing furniture and equipment that make the library community spaces useful.

Community Support. In a recent survey, 70% of urban library computer users reported the library was their only point of computer access.  This resource, paired with the 695 adult programs offered yearly (including computer classes, resume writing workshops, etc), help combat barriers to learning and employement in the information age.

Providing expert guidance. Nationally, highly trained librarians answer 7.2 million reference questions a week.  Here in Roanoke, your library is the hub of an information wheel, procuring databases and hard copy materials, providing customer support and creating access online and in-house to resources for educational enrichment. These support a literate and informed citizenry and a constellation of community groups by serving their information needs.