When I ran into school troubles, when I felt like I didn’t fit-in with friends, when life seemed challenging, one place served as a refuge. When I struggled as a kid, I had one place I could go to get away.
I liked the baseball diamond, football field, and basketball court. They were first loves, but my local public library was altogether different. It was truly safe. I would walk in the library and I could read new books. I could go places I never imagined. I would walk in feeling one way, I would leave a completely new person.
The American Library Association (ALA) sponsors National Library Week April 7-13 to celebrate the contributions of libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support.
The free access to books and a place to go — no matter how big or small, or even just a hole in the wall — saved me. I owned a library card long before I ever owned a driver’s license.
Times have changed. You can pull up Google and instantaneously find out everything that you ever wanted to know and then some about obscure topics.
Need to know about the human cell. It’s all there for the taking. Google will spit back more than 2 trillion results. Need to know how many World Series the Minnesota Twins have won. You can get the answers in seconds. The answers three by the way, 1924, 1987, and 1991.
The web has changed life as we know it. I pray though that libraries still have a place in this new world.
If it’s up to me, if my vote counts in any way, shape or form, libraries will continue to play an important role and serve as a place of honor. There’s nothing like a library and a librarian who can help refine your search and lead you in the right direction.
In short, libraries mean opportunity and, for me, represented a life saver. I got to think they can continue to serve that role for countless others.
Go visit your library.