Libraries are important to me. They’re a fixture in my summer memories and they remain a refuge for me if I’m in a new and unknown place. Recently I had jury duty and that meant that I was in an area that I’d never been in before. When we were dismissed for lunch, after I had eaten, I went straight for the library because it was nearby. Libraries are a quiet, cool place to spend summer afternoons and they can be a cozy cocoon in the winter. Being surrounded by books is, frankly, pleasurable and it never fails to make me feel safe and at ease.
Aside from my personal and very sentimental reasons for thinking libraries are important, they are also bastions of knowledge — free knowledge. This means that anyone can access the books, computers, magazines, and periodicals within the library’s walls. Personally I think this is a very important institution to maintain in our country, no matter how strapped for cash we become as a nation. Libraries should never be the first thing to go when budgets are considered.
Flavorwire did a post a couple of months ago that had quotes all about libraries and their importance to us as human beings and as a society. I thought I would include two of my favorite quotes from their list here.
“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.” – Sidney Sheldon
So true. Not only are libraries a place where you can find your favorite books, they’re also a place where you can find new books. Exploring the shelves of a library is a great way to open your imagination and expand your world view without even leaving your town.
“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” – Anne Herbert
This quote corresponds to what I said earlier regarding budgets and it’s something that I firmly believe. Whether you’re speaking personally or collectively as a society, I believe that lean times can be gotten through if you have knowledge, imagination, and an escape such as books.
What do libraries mean to you? Why do you think they are important? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan