Henry W. Noe ’22
With the amelioration of the internet and e-readers, libraries are becoming less and less sought out as a valuable resource. Individuals are less inclined to pursue their local library when in search of a certain resource or in need of assistance; the abandonment of this indispensable center of education that performs many duties must not be driven to elimination in contemporary society.
The library offers bountiful resources that serve to unite the entire community under the overarching keynote of education. The most obvious example is the staggering number of books, newspapers, journals, magazines, and other texts housed within its walls. Secondly, the space provides visitors and community members with a location where they can quietly work or study outside of their home while staying within the intimacy of the community. For students, librarians can prove to be an invaluable resource in the beginning stages of a research paper or in maneuvering around the library in order to find a specific source.
Extending beyond the immense catalog of knowledge within the space, libraries also provide worthwhile programs to its surrounding neighborhood. Community organizations, such as book clubs or writers workshops, use the space to convene and discuss, resulting in a more fortified community. Libraries also serve a more direct educational role to the youth and elderly alike. Introductory reading and writing classes are conducted which allow youth members of the community to develop comprehension skills early on while also serving as a means to propagate the intelligence of the youth community members. Basic internet classes are taught to the elderly in order for them to stay cognizant of the changes to their digitizing world.
The benefits provided by libraries are of incredible value to low income families that cannot afford the devices which many use to replace the need to seek out the library. With the extinction of these services, these families could possibly lose the capability to access information on the internet, read and check out books in the library’s possession, and take part in the number of additional classes offered within the space. The ramifications of this would inhibit their intellectual growth solely due to their socioeconomic standing. Libraries represent the conviction that every member of the community must be given access to resources that intellectually satiate themselves regardless of their socioeconomic standing.
Libraries preserve and maintain information that has been accrued over years of research and keeps the modern world tethered to the progress made in the past. Moreover, as certain news providers are being deemed legitimate and illegitimate, libraries stand as the impartial harbinger of truth and fact while also serving as the primary combatant to misinformation. In a culture that is hurtling itself forward toward the progression and glory of the technological age, libraries are a haven where the community can bond and learn alongside one another, the importance of the past and the treatment of facts are maintained, and the hearth of intellectual acuity emblazons the spirit of all who enter.
Photo courtesy of britishcouncil.com