Library: Just Add Books & Stir

So. Libraries. I like them. You should too. Why? They have books there. And you can read them. For free.

I think, on the whole, we've forgotten what an amazing thing that is. Libraries are a great equalizer. (Like taxes. And death. Only much more fun.) Why? Because libraries mean that even if you have no money, you can read books. You can gain knowledge. You can learn whatever you want to learn, even if you don't earn a fancy degree by doing so. Knoweldge is available to all the classes, and it hasn't always been that way. There was a time when only the richest of the rich could afford books. That's not the case now, but sometimes I think we've become complacent. We think that free knoweldge has always been the way--that it will always be the way.

But that's not true. Libraries are free to the public because we make them free. We support them with our tax dollars and with our love. Without these things, they wither. They fade. They go the way of the extemely awkward dodo. Some of you might say, "Well, that's evolution then isn't it? If it's not relevant, if it can't survive, then it maybe it should go away." Okay. I hear you. But I offer up this argument: We are the creators of libraries. We decide if they are relevant. If they are something we need. And though I like the shiny box called Television, I shudder to think of a society where that's the only way for us to gather information.

"What about the internet, then?" I knew you'd say that. Okay, the internet is great. It's free...IF you have a computer. That's a pretty big if. It's all caps and everything. Okay, well, computers cost money and sometimes people choose to fritter their hard earned cash on silly things like food, shelter and clothing instead. But you know who has computers? LIBRARIES. You know how much they cost to use? NOTHING. Once again they are offering up knowledge for free. And if you can't find the information you're looking for on the internet or in the library, you know what else they have? Librarians. What's a librarian? They are the sainted men and women who safe guard all the knowledge and shush you so that you can have a quiet place to think*. This means more than you realize. We are quickly running out of quiet places to think.

I go to my library almost every week. I get books there. Audio books. Books for my son. I print things there sometimes. I ask the librarian for reccomendations. I've taken free classes there. The library is a key component of my life and like most things that I love, I want to hug it.

So, as a person, not just a writer, but a person--a reader and lover of books and knowledge, I want to choose to keep the library relevant. Open. Help it evolve, continue, thrive. I choose to keep it from the fate of the dodo. Because I want a society built on knowledge and books for all.

Which brings me to the real point of this post: sometimes, librarys don't have enough books. It's simply shocking. Librarys should have books. All kinds of books. But sometimes they can't get the budget to purchase them, like in the case of Ballou Senior High School. If you can, check out their list. See if you can help them out. You'll find all relevant info here. But don't stop there. Check with your own local library. Check with the librarian of your local school--what do they need? Books? New chairs? Tables? A bake sale? A hug? A little can go a long way.

Before I leave you, let me share this with you: I have a day job at a bakery by my apartment. Every so often a customer comes in and buys macaroons. She buys two for herself, and two for her librarian because she knows he likes them. And every time she does this, I want to hug her and tell her that I appreciate what she is doing. I appreciate the support she's giving her local library, even if it's in the form of a coconut cookie. I want to thank her for doing her part to avoid library dodo-ism. 

And I think next time I'll tell her. Except for the part about the dodos. I think that will just make her think that I'm a crazy person.

*unless you're in Discworld, in which case they are all these things and an orangutan.