Guest post by Bay Collyns
At the early of age five, there were many enjoyable memories for me and my brother especially when our mother took us to the public library to check-out our selections of books. I remember the warmth and feelings of solace being in the library while reading our books and watching as others were attentive to their studies. As I look back, we were also delighted to see the mobile library come to the neighborhood park during spring break as well the summer months; we were amazed how convenient it was to have available library books. Currently, the availability having resources at our finger tips is quite remarkable. The cellphone has made it easy to read and retrieved information within seconds. Which makes me wonder, are libraries needed today?
Did you know that the first library was created in ancient times? The first library stored clay tablets that were used to document knowledge. One of the largest libraries in the world is the Library of Congress; it is the national library where millions of books, newspapers, and manuscripts are within its collections. There are research materials from all parts of the world in more than 450 languages. This library is worth visiting.
Libraries today continue to be known for their printed books, multimedia resources, and periodicals. They have grown to include audio and eBooks, as well as other technology, 3-D printing, and materials from the Library of Congress.
Today’s libraries are places where children of all ages are able to read their first book, high school and college students meet to collaborate and do required research, first-time parents take a birthing class or a grieving widow meets for a support group, and there are classes to learn to play chess. These are places of transformation on so many levels.
Globally, libraries are adapting and responding to the needs of their local citizens. My mother, who is on a fixed income, enjoys meeting and discussing the assigned book club reading of the month and checks out the assigned book for the next month before she leaves the library. She is thrilled to share with me the book discussions and who agreed and disagreed with her. It is an exciting part of her week where she gets to converse and meet people.
I think libraries will continue to evolve to meet the diverse needs of the communities for which they serve. Libraries are needed as a place to learn, to explore creative ideas, and develop critical interest.
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Arielle Haughee is the owner and founder of Orange Blossom Publishing.