Let’s Focus On The Unbelievable Importance Of Libraries

30 May 2017

Let’s Focus On The Unbelievable Importance Of Libraries

Author Name
Jon Westenberg, Medium
Translated by
Dina Hashim, KnowledgeWare Technologies Est.
Date Of Blog

This week, Creatomic is sponsored by Inklpay, a fantastic micropayment platform and plugin that can make it easy and user friendly to monetise your content. I use it on www.creatomic.org and I love the plugin!

Here’s 10 reasons we need libraries:

  • Libraries are eco-friendly partners
  • Libraries are community hubs and homes
  • Libraries promote diversity
  • They give resources to those who have none
  • They are politically neutral (and provide neutral research) in a divided world
  • Libraries offer resources for small businesses
  • Libraries encourage the arts, from writers to painters to rappers
  • Libraries are a gathering place for teens, kids, seniors together
  • Libraries taught Steve Jobs, Hillary Clinton, Seth Godin and thousands of others
  • They store knowledge that — unlike the internet — is not ephemeral

When people talk about de-funding the libraries, they say it’s because Wikipedia makes them redundent. But it’s not true. Sure, Wikipedia has a lot of facts, but interpreting them, learning from them, and understanding their roots requires the deep store of knowledge inside a book.

But there’s more to it than that. A library is more than just a home for books. For some families, those who don’t have a lot of cash, it’s still the only place they can go to get connected to the internet, to watch a movie, to listen to music. A library is a cultural hub. A home for the mind.

It’s the place where folks turn to for knowledge and advice, and librarians are their personal guides through a world that isn’t always forgiving or welcoming or understanding.

Libraries have played a huge part in our world for a long time. Back before Google was even dreamed of, libraries and librarians were where you turned to for a search.

Wanted to know the President’s date of birth, pre-Google? You’d call your library. Wanted to remember something from the Table of Elements? You’d call your library.

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When I was growing up in a little country town called Gnowangerup, population 500, the most important part of my week was going down to the local library.

It was a tiny little thing — not even half the size of the apartment I live in today.

But it was so full of books, chocked to the brim with stacks of old paperbacks and novels and non-fiction volumes. I would read for hours. I read books about the 3 Stooges, Apple Computers, the Beatles and a lot of different dragons.

For a kid who felt trapped in a little one-horse-town, that meant a lot. This was before the internet made it out to the country. This was before I could get connected anywhere, instantly. Back then, it was my only way to feel connected to the outside world.

Over the past 20 odd years, that’s never changed. I have had a love affair with libraries ever since. My college library, my local library, the state library — I’ve explored and lost myself in all of them.

Before Google, There Was the Patient, Long-Suffering Staff of the New York Public Library
Once upon a time-midcentury America, to be precise-you couldn't turn to the Google search bar with all your most deeply…pictorial.jezebel.com

For me, I credit a lot of my journey, and a lot of my personal growth and knowledge to the hours I have spent in libraries all over the country. Immersing myself in them. Basking in them.

I don’t know where or who — or what — I’d be without them.

Right now, I want to say thank you to the libraries and the librarians who have played a massive part in the lives of millions, and who we forget more and more as we spend our time online, rather than offline.

I love libraries. Hell, that’s where I’m going today, to sit and work among the books and explore a little more than just my screen.

I want to finish with these quotes:

Ray Bradbury

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.

Linton Weeks

In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.

Anne Herbert

Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.

About Blog

About me

LibraryThing.tech blog aims to provide collaborative spaces to accommodate all librarians and those who care about the latest developments in fields like information access technologies and OSS knowledge management systems, to share the latest news and future trends in areas like electronic libraries, digital repositories and archiving, content curation and crowdsourcing, discovery portals and search engines, systems arabization and translation, knowledge and research center mangement systems, artificial intelligence, and open access content.

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