Growing up in a rural community is a special privilege enjoyed by people across the nation. That privilege, however, also has its challenges when it comes to accessing education, art, culture and community. Public libraries provide that access freely, bridging those challenges and thereby strengthening and empowering the residents of rural communities. It is no secret that quality educational resources can be difficult to come by for people living in the country. Cities have an endless array of museums, cultural districts, theater and art programs, and public access community programming. Rural areas generally don’t have the means to support such a varied selection of publicly accessible resources; that is where libraries are the most vital in rural areas. By giving local residents the ability to explore the world through books, movies, music, and the internet libraries act as the linchpin of the community. Libraries are the beating heart of a small town ensuring that everyone lives up to their full potential.