The Library – An Invaluable Institution by Library Science student JH

A gush of warmth pools around my face as I walk through the front door. Roaming the vast halls through the dimly light area, I find my way to the back of the room and settle into my usual corner. Amongst the wide variety available, I select my favorite from the shelf: a ruffled, almost antique mystery waiting to be uncovered. Living in a technology-dominated society has helped improve efficiency in many aspects; however, the library – a place filled with endless possibilities and resources – is arguably one of the most valuable institutions available. A library is not only a sanctuary to develop life skills and stimulate creativity, but also a place to find one’s identity.

Auto-correct. A miniscule function that has become a dependent variable for many. In contrast, the library, has helped establish a literate society over the past centuries, in which people do not need to rely on auto-correct to function. The reason being: sturdy reference books and dictionaries are available at hand, forcing the past generations to physically search for the words they need to spell. Some may see this as an inefficient burden, but through years of constant practice the ability to find resources becomes almost innate. In this way, the library acts as an enforcer, influencing people to work for what they need or want, whether that goal is finding a quote out of a reference book, or researching for a science presentation. These skills can be applied to areas outside of the library, such as behaviors in work places and even attitudes in relationships. Libraries establish a basic foundation for users, teaching people, whether young students or working parents, many life skills that are necessary in daily life.

Browsing areas are often kept quiet in libraries in order to provide the best learning environment for concentration. Herein, one is given various outlets to draw inspiration from. Perhaps it will be the two moons – instead of the generic one – on the endpaper of 1Q84 that draws attention, or the multi-coloured splatters on the spine of a novel in the kids section.  These books are substantial resources found in libraries that are much more compelling than a mere scroll across the screen to turn a page. And even in the most silent rooms, an amazingly designed cover of a tangible novel can act as a conversation starter. A stranger’s suggestion may lead to finding one of the best reads. Stories and backgrounds will be shared; thoughts conversed; brilliant minds joined in the quiet, mundane – as many tend to think – library. The library provides more than just hushed study areas and comfy couches; it is a playground – one open to people of  all ages and sizes to begin the construction of their own fantasies.

Lastly, it is through the sanctuary of a library that one may discover his own identity. The multitude of reference books may allow him to cross over a period of time, in which he strolls along the roads of the olden days, reminiscing his heritage. Among books, libraries also contain one of the most invaluable resources: Librarians. These are the knowledgeable people who may help one discover his likes and interests. They provide tangible ideas and advice – sincere thoughts that cannot be attained even through the most developed technology. Perhaps a thorough conservation about how to continue a novel in progress during a writer’s block will help one discover he has a knack for writing. One might walk into a library merely to seek comfort in a book, but walk away with conviction, knowing he is on the right path to finding his success.

Even as technology continues to develop exponentially in the 21st century, the tangible experiences and attributes found at a library cannot easily be undermined. A library is a mentor; a warehouse of the thoughts of brilliant minds; and, unlike a hard drive, one is able to experience the physical and emotional results after slaving away at his typewriter till the wee hours of the morning. And even as one mystery ends, a door to another contains yet another thrilling experience in the quiet refuge of a library.