“There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.” — Andrew Carnegie
Ah, the library. The one place where you can travel anywhere in the universe and learn about anything. A place that inspires, invites and makes you feel welcomed, no matter who you are.
I just recently started my Library and Information Technician program, so it just seemed to make sense to make my first “official” WRITER’s post about libraries. My instructor recently posted this link on the 10 Most Beautiful Libraries On Earth. Halifax, Nova Scotia is the only Canadian city on this list and is my hometown (and my feature picture). Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to see this library yet (it was just completed in 2014).
Below is a wonderful talk about why libraries matter. Take a few minutes to listen and see if you don’t agree.
I’ve been volunteering at the library that I used to work at for about a year and a half now. Recently I began helping out with a preschooler program. If you want to know if libraries matter (if the above video didn’t convince you), walk into a library with a child. Or better yet, walk into a library LIKE A CHILD…full of wonder and curiosity.
Yeah, this is a BIG PLUG for libraries. In this day and age where we can download pretty much any book, movie or TV show that we want, you wonder if the library is still needed.
Just like we still need to be able to go out for a coffee with a friend instead of chatting on Facebook. Just like we need to call our Mom to tell her about our day instead of tweeting it. The library is more than just a place to find a book.
It’s a COMMUNITY.
Do you have a place that you go to so often that they know you? Don’t you love how it feels when you are greeted by familiar faces. How walking into this place brightens your mood after a particularly long day?
THAT’S what a library offers.
For a writer, having a place with so much source material is great. Nothing feels better than holding a book in your hands and learning something that you didn’t know before. My kids are gaming junkies, but every once in a while they will come to me and tell me about a book that they read (whether for a project or on their own). They always seem surprised with how much they enjoy it.
It’s hard to compete with video games, Netflix and social media. Libraries get that and have embraced those changes, incorporating them into their existing programs and even physical design (such as some of the libraries in the above article).
Don’t give up on your library. Even if you haven’t been there in ages, pop in and take a look around. See what is new and remember the familiar. You never know what you will find.
It just might surprise you.
This image is from a colouring page site that had a section on libraries. Here is the link if you would like to get some images for your kids.
p.s.- on Thursday I came across a 2013 article from The Guardian that has Neil Gaiman talking about the importance of reading and libraries. It’s long but worth the read.
Text © Written In Geek blog (2016) All rights reserved
Pictures © Written In Geek blog or used with subject’s permission (2016)