An Ode to Libraries

An Ode to Libraries

Some days I am moving at like a thousand miles per hour. Wednesday of this week was no exception.  The day had already been so arduous.  There are no words to describe the horror of waking up my 5 year old son for school some mornings.  He loves school but waking him up is akin to waking an 80 year old man with Alzheimer’s, not even one of the nice ones either.

He sits up grumbling and cursing, or doing what I assume is cursing. I can never really make out any of his garbled gravelly grumbling (Say that five times fast, I dare you!).  At 630 in the morning half asleep he gets a pass.  Anyway he is fed and we are out the door by 745 for the cold walk to school.

Back by 815 I spend the next 2 hours singing Queen and MJ songs while retooling my résumé for an impromptu job interview. I’m pretty good at multitasking although I must admit I did accidentally type lyrics into my qualifications a couple times. Being “Bad” or “Easy Come, Easy Go”, does not resonate very well with prospective employers so I took care of those typos quickly.

I hopped on the bus at 1045 with more than enough time to get to the interview with a planned stop at the library to print my newly minted résumé.  I hadn’t been to the library in months.

I have to say I was about taken back at how many people were actually there. Most of us have the internet on our phones. Sure there may be some text, audio, and maybe even some video that you may not be find with a Google search, but for the most part the answer to any question about anything is available through an app of some sort.

The sight of that bustling library warmed my heart.  It was once my firm belief that eventually libraries would become relics of the past.  Huge empty buildings that had once housed countless volumes of knowledge would be converted into swanky lofts to house hipsters and grad students. Libraries would become websites that charge a flat rate for each downloaded volume.  Not quite 1984 but you get my drift.

It is easy to forget that before the age of internet and smart phones the public library was our information hub. The written word was our passport to distant lands and unheard of adventures.  When I see that people have not forgotten the libraries and their expansive volumes of knowledge I find myself gaining a little more hope for future generations.

Maybe we won’t get swallowed up by our own technological ambitions. Perhaps we will find a way to truly become a worldwide community founded on the basis of trust and knowledge. I know that I’m reaching a bit, especially after one quick trip to the library.  You can’t blame me for dreaming though.

Either way the important thing is to get out to the library. Check out a book or go through the archives and learn a bit about our past. You know what they say, “if you don’t use it you lose it”, and the day we lose our libraries will be the day we lose ourselves.