Libraries are amazing. Hundreds, or, depending where you live, thousands of books are at your fingertips. Yeah, yeah, whatever, but just think about that for a moment: You have a resource that many scholars in our past could only dream of. Abraham Lincoln, ya know, the guy who became the most recognized president aside from George Washington, once had to walk five miles to get one book. One book, people! Whereas you can hop in your comfy car and a few minutes later sit in a building designed specifically for books.
You want to know more about the C.I.A? You probably have at least ten books on it. Marine Bio? Coding? Origami? Got you covered. I once found a book in a library all about the history of paint. Paint. My point is, you can learn about anything in your library. You can hear the voices of people long gone, you can learn from their mistakes, and be inspired by their stories! You can be in the company of the greatest minds in our world with a swipe of your card. Just think about it!
Yes, Google is nice. But have you ever read a blog post or a website that someone poured all of their beliefs in? Their pain, what made them laugh, what showed them what it was to be human? Have you ever seen something on the internet that someone literally lived to write? My money’s on No.
Libraries are so much more than a bunch of books to go to when your parents tell you to get off your computer, or when you have a book report due on Abigail Adams. They are filled with years of knowledge, of thousands of imaginations sitting next to each other, beckoning us to a world that is not our own. It is a place to inspire us, to bring us into contact with the past of America, the present of our Nation, and hopes for the future of our world as a whole. That’s what a library is. It’s the freedom to learn anything you want, whenever you want, however you want. Look a bit deeper in the shelves, they may surprise you.