The Relevancy of Libraries

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                           August 28, 2017

                                  

I remember the library in Ironton, Ohio. Its familiarity was due to the fact that it was right next door to the First Baptist Church of Ironton, the church that ordained me! That was about as close as I got to discovering the library back in those days. It was a place of books, shelves, and cranky librarians.

Sad as it is, I can not even remember where the library was located in my old high school. Yes, I realize that was forty-five years ago, but you would think I could recall its approximate location. It was not crucial, however, to the attainment of my 2.5 grade point average! Conversely, at the school where I substitute teach and coach now the LMC (Library Media Center) is the activity hub of the school.

In recent times I’ve actually discovered the INSIDE of the library that is about two miles from our house. It is wonderful! It’s a place of books, computers, DVD’s, magazines, lectures, displays, and…librarians who smile!

There is growing debate about the relevancy of the public library. Its naysayers promote the value of the internet as now being the ultimate source of knowledge, immediate access to information, and available anywhere. As is often the case their viewpoint is as one-sided as a political party position. There is merit in what they say, without a doubt, and yet there is also a naiveness bundled with it.

I’ll go to our public library tonight to spend a couple of hours in quiet and contemplation. I recently finished the first draft of a book I had been writing. Most of the book was written from a quiet area on the first floor of the library. Being surrounded by books and other people’s creativity prompted the igniting of words in my own mind.

Last Saturday I picked up a DVD from the library that we watched with our three grandkids that night.

Last week I gazed upon the display shelves of about a hundred different magazines. To see them side by side, and to read the titles of articles, was an intriguing experience.

Libraries are depositories of ideas, thoughts, and stories. They are my refuge from the noise of life. I am a lover of history, biographies, and mysteries. I’m currently reading a book about presidential campaigns by John Dickerson entitled Whistlestops; and a Greg Iles mystery Blood Memory. Before these books I read Alan Taylor’s American Revolutions, John Sanford’s Golden Prey, Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, and Glen Jeansonne’s Herbert Hoover: A Life. All of them I could have ordered from Amazon, but all of them I checked out from the public library.

The demise of the public library will come, not so much because of the internet, but because less people see the value in reading. We have been “Tweeterized” in our reading focus. Although reading is stressed and emphasized so much in school, adults seem to have evolved into 140 character beings. They have slumped into the non-commitment of being couch potatoes. Let’s pray that downward trend in reading  shifts back the other way because there is enough ignorance being shown in opinions right now even with the presence of libraries. To have them become a thing of the past will open the floodgates for people to say even more stupid things…and even more people to take the stupid things as being truth!

Explore posts in the same categories: children, Community, Freedom, Nation, Parenting, Story, Uncategorized, Youth

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