PARISH PEOPLE AND PLACES
Every second week of the month, we feature a different person or local business or institution as a way for us to better know and pray for our city. If you have a person or place to recommend for this space, please let us know!
The University Hills public library is a busy place. With more than 300 visitors a day, it is teeming with life. As the Austin Public Library slogan contends, this branch is more than books—though it does have 30,000 of them. The branch is also a community and education center, offering a wide array of activities for all manner of people. It was fun to hear about the Halo 4 tournament (for those 17 years old and up) alongside the puppet show and opportunities for tax assistance and computer instruction.
With these offerings and having been around since 1987, the library provides some perspective on the communities surrounding it. It was striking to hear about the needs the library has encountered in terms of caring for children and teenagers, helping people complete their resumes, and grappling with security issues at different points in its history. As we consider what it might mean to be a church in and for Austin, what might centers and institutions like the University Hills public library teach us? How might we be called to join with what God is already doing in and through them?
It was a delight to be able to spend some time with the staff of the library. They were generous with their time and I was struck by their camaraderie. Katrina, who I spoke with the most, was particularly hospitable. She suggested that we might pray for them as they seek to make the library a safe place for all, especially kids who spend long hours there, and also for wisdom as they seek to “help people where they are at.” Let us pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for Katrina, all the staff at the University Hills Branch, and the community they serve.