L is for Libraries

| May 5, 2014

I’ve always loved libraries; the walls lined with books, full of words that make up stories from the minds of others. As a child I distinctly remember the day I got my own library card, what freedom! I could go into any public library and peruse the hundreds of books on the shelves and borrow any or all of them (I was a nerdy child, if that wasn’t evident already).

My relationship with libraries has grown and changed; there have been years of my life that I didn’t utilize libraries at all, and others that I spend most days in one. Being in academia these past few years has translated into many long evenings, spent in libraries hunched over stacks of books, bleary-eyed but still convinced that somehow in this half-asleep state I could be productive.

I write this post while sitting in the library, much like many of my assignments, at the last minute. As this project comes to a close, I am able to sit back and relax, rather than fret over the flaws in my submissions. My posts from this project are far from perfect; one post is literally the history of zippers. Another, a feminist rant on Barbie dolls. The writing is far from academic and even farther from perfect. I’ve written posts at home, at work, in class and in libraries. My posts have focused on some of my interests over the last few months, but also bounce around quite randomly. There is no central theme, only a specific type of togetherness that can not be articulated, except to say that they “go together”.

Like this project, libraries are a mish mash of far reaching topics and of extremely eccentric people (walk into any public library and you will know immediately what I am talking about). The “togetherness” of libraries isn’t the collection of their books or even the information that they hold; the tying piece of libraries that make them so uniquely a “library” is the group of people who use them. People together in a specific place, over shared interests of books, music, or technology, and simply existing alongside one another. I’ve loved libraries since I was young, but what I didn’t realize as a child is the great importance that the community plays in shaping and driving the libraries we have today. Unlike so many aspects of modern life, libraries offer a quiet place where people can come together and simply¬†exist alongside one another.