The Library is a wonderful source of public information right at your fingertips. You can find everything in there from newspapers and audiobooks to science fiction and poetry.
Libraries are not the first thing I think of in relation to weed, but that’s about to change. Come find out what Denver, Colorado libraries are doing for the cannabis culture.
Marijuana is becoming more socially acceptable than it used to be, but we still have a long way to go. To change the way marijuana is accepted, particularly in the governmental institutions and officials eyes, the library is stepping in.
Anythink Libraries, a chain of publicly funded libraries, hosted a Careers in Cannabis panel as part of Anythink Startup Month for September. They brought in several weed industry executives to discuss the ups and downs of their careers. That was a great start to learning more about the weed industry, but Anythink wanted to do more.
With nine locations all throughout Denver, Anythink Libraries now have over 600 items of cannabis-related materials. This breaks down to 108 printed books, 259 e-books, 56 audiobooks, 140 albums, and 65 movies. You can get anything from “The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook” to “Brave New Weed”.
"If it meets our collection development policy and is relevant to our community, then we consider it," says Anythink collection buyer Jennifer Hendzlik. "We saw a need for factual information for locals and librarians."
Jennifer Hendzlik and her associate Aaron Bock have been teaching the Public Library Association about the types of books to have in their library. They feel that having cannabis related materials mixed in with classic reads shows that smoking a joint and reading a book is no different than reading with a glass of wine.
Hendzlik said "We called it 'puff, puff, lend. But really, one of our most important responsibilities as librarians is giving out reliable information."
Finding proper information on anything besides the internet to do with cannabis is difficult. This topic is still considered off-limits in most public establishments, even though it shouldn’t be. Hendzlik and Bock approach finding cannabis related materials just like they would any other credible information.
They spend time scouring their resources to find reliable authors and great content. "We buy some books for people to specifically read when they're stoned," he says. They do so based on the content or illustrations.
They are even trying to educate children about marijuana use with a book from Michigan Cannabis Business Association with the character "Stinky Steve”. Some people might feel like this is unacceptable, however as a mother I disagree. Children need to learn about these things in a safe and educated way, not from the streets.
Having our libraries filled with “Pride and Prejudice” and “Colorado Cough” is not a bad thing. Education, no matter the subject is a wonderful thing.
Expanding our minds to accept what we don’t know is what life is all about. Personally, I hope that Anythink Libraries ideas catch on to the rest of the United States.