National Library Week ends today, but I think that every week should be National Library Week; libraries are totally awesome and should always be celebrated!
Libraries are full of shelves and stacks and little nooks and crannies of books that you are allowed to borrow and read FOR FREE! This is especially awesome for a bookworm like myself, because there’s no way I could afford to buy all the books I want to read. So really, what is better than an entire building filled with books just waiting to be read, that also actively encourages you to come hang out and feed your mind with adventures and imagination and general amazingness? Nothing.
I could go on forever about how much I love libraries. I’ve been frequenting them for as long as I can remember. My local library growing up, which was a converted old railway station, hosted story-time for young children, summer reading programs for tweens and teens, and is still pretty awesome to this day. Back in the ‘90s, it also had computers that you could use to access the internet! Way cool.
In university, I practically lived in my school’s library. Since I double majored in History and English Literature, I pretty much read all day until my eyes started bleeding; it was fantastic.
Now, being a young, hip twenty-something, I still hang out at my city’s local library. It was recently renovated, and is now full of beautiful artwork, high ceilings, tech-labs, performance rooms, and of course, more than enough books to fill my tiny apartment with. It also has a wicked coffee shop inside, which is great for fuelling my brain during those afternoons when I just need to finish the last 100 pages of a totally awesome story.
But I often feel like libraries don’t get enough love. How many of you hang out at them regularly? Or, if you do, how many of your friends or family go with you?
I understand that not everyone loves to read, and most people associate libraries with a love of reading. However, that’s not necessarily true. Take a look at this year’s theme for National Library Week: Libraries Transform.
What does that mean? Well, I like to think that it means libraries, and their programs, transform those traditional ideas and notions of their very own institutions.
Traditionally, libraries have been a place where the general public can go to educate themselves (typically for free) through written text. Now, though, we’ve started to gravitate away from only learning from books, which is a great thing.
You can now go to libraries and access the internet (which might still be a big thing for some people), you can take courses, watch performances, join clubs, meet up with friends, or even learn how to 3D print something. 3D printing in libraries! Who would have ever thought?
Libraries are spaces for thinking, creating, collaborating, and sharing ideas. They now transcend physical books, and offer so much more. You can access digital archives, see special collections, and learn more fun facts than you ever thought even existed. Libraries are bursting with free knowledge.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your library card.