Librarians are not shushing people, and libraries are no longer only silent cathedrals for solo reading. (They still have reading rooms—don’t worry.) Instead, these great pieces of civic architecture are being repurposed: They’re places that offer classes in computer skills and thousands of other subjects, provide internet access to millions of Americans who can’t afford it, and host innumerable neighborhood meetings.

Libraries these days are providing meals to kids and adults through local food banks, working with local immigrant agencies, offering homework help, and loaning out an amazing array of things, from musical instruments to microscopes. (Yes: the Library of Things.) What they’re up to is dazzling. And in 2013, 94 percent of Americans said that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community. As America gets older and more unequal, its people need new forms of education to thrive—and libraries are ground zero for every public value the country cares about.

But I love you more than words can say


Happy #500PartyWeek!

This week has been absolutely amazing. You guys have been so responsive and so involved in this silly little party week, it’s been everything I hoped it would be.

At the beginning of all of this, when I was sending tons of messages out to people inviting them to participate, I asked them all for a Sam of their very own. This surprise was one of the first things Mod and I planned for the party, since we knew we wanted something that was a bit of a collaboration from everyone in the community. Of course, we also wanted it to be a surprise, so we decided to keep it just between the members we talked directly with. At the end of the day, this picture represents all of us, there’s a Sam for everyone, and is the biggest, best thank you Mod and I could think of.

Like I said, this week has been simply amazing. Special thanks to @septicstacheedits for providing art for every day all week and being the backbone of this party! Thanks to @maybekatie, @abigailjayfie@adorkwithhats, @the-east-art, @rynnwolfe, @odiasdailydoodles, @fallskimarts, @just-a-paper-n-pencil, @ithunderstorm, @boopymooplier, @carmenthefoxy13, @cheers-love-tracer-is-bae, and @frozenseas for all their stupendous art and participation all week! And for the Sams! And thank you to everyone that has been reblogging and liking art all week. It’s been amazing seeing everyone interact with and support each other, and that’s what makes this community so great!

Mod and I look forward to seeing you all soon with some more surprises!

- Admin