13 September 2014

41 Things I Love About Libraries

Libraries, huh?

Read on, dear member of my audience, and consider each and all of the reasons to appreciate libraries.


1. They are so, so widespread. Use a locator such as this one (which searches worldwide) or check a list like this one to find a public library near you.

2. They're even online. If you prefer audiobooks, if you are trying to learn a new language, or if you would like to volunteer yourself to read an audiobook, look no further than LibriVox.
3. They give you something to do. Rainy day? Go to the library. Or, if you're just plain bored, libraries often have special events like poetry readings, storytelling sessions for children, writing workshops, author visits, and more.
4. They're a good place to think.
5. They're a great place to relax.
6. They're a wonderful place to make new friends. Have you ever bonded with somebody over a mutual favourite book? It's the best thing ever.
7. They're not as outdated as people believe. Today, there are more public libraries than McDonald's in the United States. (Is that a relieving fact or what?)
8. Even if you aren't well-acquainted with your librarian, there is always one common interest that you can talk about with him or her: reading. Make sure to ask about other things, too -- some librarians are also fascinated with writing, education, and other similar subjects that you might also enjoy.
9. Librarians are pretty cool people anyway. They're willing to help you out, for one thing -- you can go to them for practically any piece of book advice.
10. They always offer recommendations for new books.
11. They are accepting. Especially libraries that are open to the public. No library will ever deny you entry based upon your background, appearance, religion, age, gender, or other demographic. Everybody is welcome at a library.
12. They are well-maintained. Typically, libraries are very clean and orderly. (If you crave order, simply consider the Dewey decimal system.) The people who work at and visit libraries care about the upkeep of their sanctuaries -- and libraries are always tranquil and silent.
13. Universities tend to have the most extensive and most beautiful libraries. Go ahead; scroll down slightly and try to persuade me that these pictures aren't awe-worthy:



Bapst Library at Boston College, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Image via onlinecollege.org.
Trinity College Library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
Image via Flavorwire.
Fisher Fine Arts Library at University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Image via Flavorwire.
Yeah, that's what I thought.
14. They encourage people of all ages to read. Despite the obvious intellectual benefits of perusing a book, some data further proves that reading fiction promotes empathy and compassion within a reader.
15. You can trust that there will always be plenty of selection.
16. They're big enough to get lost in . . .
17. . . . but not so big as to make you afraid of getting lost in. You know it would be a lot of fun to lose your way in a library.
18. And they're quiet enough to help you be mindful . . .
19. . . . but not so quiet as to make you lose your mind.
20. PSA: library dates are the best dates.
21. Or, take a friend with you instead of taking your significant other.
22. They're easily accessible, and it's so simple to obtain a membership with them.
23. They're up-to-date with the book trends. The library is often stocked with the most popular and most acclaimed books.
24. But every single one of their books is a jewel. Look hard, and you may find lurking in your library several notable books. Turn it into a scavenger hunt: Try to find a story that was first published over 150 years ago, a story that you know was highly influential in a different historical era, at least three banned books (many libraries hold an anti-censorship stance and encourage the reading of all books), and a story that you haven't read since high school.
25. One word: renewal. You mean, I get to keep this book for a whole 'nother week? Awesome!
26. They are the ultimate sources of inspiration. Don't even argue this point.
27. They also offer films. You know what this means: you can have a weekend-long Harry Potter movie-fest, or try for the 24-hour marathon you've always dreamed of having.


This time, try to stay awake for the entire twenty-four hours.
Image via the Harry Potter Wiki.

28. They are receiving new books all the time . . .

29. . . . but never get rid of their older books . . .
30. . . . and if they do, those books are usually donated to schools or charities. Isn't that great?
31. Some of them also double as cafés. To satisfy your coffee needs as well as your (insatiable) novel-reading needs.
32. They have literally every. Genre. Ever. Meaning that the likelihood of you losing interest is low. Also, this expands your horizons and helps you find out which genres you like more than others.
33. They also have reading supplies, some of them for free. I'm referring to bookmarks, book lights, and similar products.
34. Librarians are experts when it comes to book-cleaning. Every day they work to remove stains, fix tears, and mend damage that is done to library books. If you ask politely, they might be willing to reverse some of the wear-and-tear that has been done to your own books.
35. There is something for everybody. If you like only a certain length of novel, character archetype, genre, or even only a couple of authors, the library is bound to have what you're searching for. If you have a broader spectrum, you'll find your happy place too.
36. They're good for more than leisure. Remember that libraries were primarily established as a place to house a collection of books that, historically, only the most literate, studious, and rich people could typically utilize. Nowadays, students --including the average and not-rich ones -- continue to use them for research and other academic tasks. It's assumed that every single library has an assortment of reference texts, like encyclopaedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, atlases, and more.
37. That being said, you don't need to use the library's books. Modern libraries nearly always have at least a few computers. If it's more helpful to use these for research than to use books, then do so. (These computers also interact with the library's catalogue, which will assist you even if you're there for leisure.)
38. They remind you how much there is to learn in the world.
39. They remind you how many good ideas there are to spread to other people.
40. New ones are being constructed all the time. Even better, some of these are built in places where literacy and education rates are lower than in the rest of the world.
41. They were a really nice idea, invention, and gift to humanity.


How many of these items do you agree with? What other reasons can you think of to love libraries? (You know there must be more!) Leave a comment below.

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