We Americans love our libraries


In an article written by Wayne Wiegand, author of “Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library,” research in the fast-developing field of social neuroscience shows that “substantial benefits accrue to those who experience high levels of face-to-face contact, including improved vocabularies, an increased ability to empathize, a deeper sense of belonging, and — most important — a longer lifespan.” Fiction “is a particularly useful simulation because negotiating the social world effectively is extremely tricky, requiring us to weigh up myriad interacting instances of cause and effect. Just as computer simulations can help us get to grips with complex [scientific] problems, … so novels, stories and dramas can help us understand the complexities of social life.”

For generations, adolescent series fiction and adult westerns, romances, horror and science fiction novels have driven public library circulation. They still do. Through commonplace stories like these that circulate by the billions, American public libraries, including Delaware County District Library, help empower, inform, intellectually stimulate and inspire their readers, viewers and listeners. And thousands of face-to-face encounters between Delaware County librarians and library patrons help to build our community in dozens of positive ways, including nurturing civic responsibility.

This scientific jargon and research simply bolsters the fact that Americans love their public libraries, and with more than 7,000 visitors each week, it’s easy to see that Delaware County District Library is well loved by our community, too.

I sit in my office and see hundreds of library patrons walk by every day, and I am grateful for the opportunity to direct this wonderful library system. I hope you continue to love the library, and please, let me know if I can make your library experience more fulfilling.

Why do icebergs float?

According to “Icebergs and Glaciers,” there are several reasons. The first is because one of water’s properties is that it is slightly denser as a liquid than as a solid. This property causes all ice cubes to float in water. Secondly, most icebergs contain a lot of air. Far from being the solid blocks of ice many people imagine, icebergs are riddled with billions of tiny, trapped air bubbles, giving the huge bergs their white appearance. Thirdly, icebergs are made from fresh water. Because of the dissolved salts in ocean water, it is denser than freshwater, adding buoyancy to the icebergs.

Do lizards make sounds?

Out of 4,675 known lizard species, only a few vocalize. The gecko is one. A female’s harsh warning call threatens, and the male’s mating call sounds either like a bird’s melody or chirps. Some iguanas verbalize a harsh, guttural hiss, according to “Iguanas for Dummies.” Lizards, however, usually communicate using body language, including pushups, change of skin color, head bobbing, dewlap extension, posture changes, movement (strutting, for example) or making themselves look tall or flattened out.

How much does the heaviest person in the world weigh?

Guinness Book of World Records certified Manuel Uribe from Monterrey, Mexico, as the heaviest man, weighing 1,235 pounds. Uribe passed away in May 2014.


If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Mary Jane Santos, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s website at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Mary Jane at [email protected] . No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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