November 12, 2017
“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.” ― Ray Bradbury
Preach Bradbury, Preach.
Okay, so a little bit ago I saw on Twitter (as one does) a Moment that was all about a New York Observer columnist named Andre Walker who said that we should close public libraries because “nobody used them”. Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so I thought I would share mine!
There are a couple things you need to know about public libraries. One in particular is that they are not just to check out books. While that may be a great and yes, the primary reason, those lovely buildings are for much more. They are hubs for information that not every person is privy to. They are a safehold for people to not only learn, but to have a quiet sanctuary to read, research, or just relax.
As a kid, I loved going to libraries. They were always so quiet and there was something melodic about the background clicking of a computer keyboard and the buzz of the overhead lights. If couldn’t find a ride home from school you would go hang out at the library and your parents would pick you up there. The PUBLIC library, that is, not the school one.
I went to Instagram with this and asked my followers why they loved public libraries and I thought I would add on to some of their thoughts!
“I treasure both public libraries and school libraries (sometimes severely underfunded t b h) because they’re safe spaces open to everyone…” – @todayiveread | Instagram
I completely agree with the above quote. Libraries have always been a place to find sanctuary among books and fellow bookworms. I also agree when it comes to having not enough funds. I think if you are looking for a charitable cause to donate some money, I suggest you give some to your local library. And not just for books, but to replace furniture, computers, etc. The upkeep of libraries is just as important as filling their shelves with books. Here are some more quotes from some lovely people:
“Ray Bradbury said libraries were the “center of our lives”, and while I would probably agree with about 99.9% of what Ray said without hesitation, I really do wholeheartedly agree with him on this point. Libraries are a place of freedom; access to any and all information so that we can educate ourselves. I treasure my public library for this reason as well as for the simple, yet deeply important fact that it gives access to me and to anyone who may not have much means to books.” – @ashchaps7 | Instagram
“…I also love knowing that someone else has read the book. It adds a little bit of magic knowing another person’s story has intertwined with the book in my hands…” – @bookswithbrittiany | Instagram
“I still love them because it brings back all the memories from my childhood going there after school and getting excited to choose a book to read for an hour. Also it’s a calming and relaxing place to be and puts my mind at peace.” – @losing_yields | Instagram
“…libraries help provide a place where parents can take their children to start learning to love to read!” – @mikayla.joy.16 | Instagram
“It’s a GREAT way to adventure out to new genres! I honestly would have NEVER really read a contemporary book unless it was Rainbow Rowell, now I’m IN LOVE with some Colleen Hoover books!” – @grishabooks | Instagram
I hope these words help a bit to understand the importance of public libraries. Personally I would love to visit as many as I can in many different cities. I would love to see the New York public library or the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. That one is my dream! Let me know why you think it is important to keep our public libraries open and if you are someone who wants to visit the more historical ones!
I leave you with this gif of Dustin from Stranger Things: