The importance a library to the average person

By this point I’ve droned on and on about the importance of libraries, both public and private, to the average college student/child/librarian. We’ve touched on funding, technology and even career prospects within the industry, but we have yet to discuss the actual importance of these massive publicly/university funded buildings.

A library is a place that sees you at your absolute worst and your absolute best. It is in the library that you find yourself, half deranged and in need of a sixth cup of coffee from the attached Starbucks while studying for your finals. It is in the library that you found that first book as a child that made you realize that maybe, reading wasn’t so bad after all. It was in the library that after putting it off for weeks, you finally sat down and churned out that 10-page essay, the one that you actually did well on. It was in the library that you learned that procrastinating was definitely bad, even though that revelation didn’t change your study habits at all.

We can go into the pros and cons of library funding for technology and librarian service requirements until I’m blue in the face and you’ve died of boredom; because lets face it, libraries really aren’t that interesting. They’re vital to the way we function, especially at a collegiate level, but they aren’t a place we’d willingly spend our college football Saturdays. The thing about libraries is that, while we certainly don’t like them, we just as certainly need them, and that need spurs the need for well run and up to date facilities like the ones we have on our campus and in the surrounding communities.

Libraries, unlike a fine wine, do not age well over time. They have required copious amounts of effort from librarians and library workers to keep them up to date, functioning and relevant in this day and age of smart technology. Working towards the future, these institutions are faced with a society that tells them they are irrelevant with every new technological advance, yet turns to them when their next term paper needs to be written.

The truth of the matter is that libraries are complex, multifaceted institutions, and even though they have been forced to change and adapt over the years, their overall purpose remains the same: to help people seek knowledge.

With modern online subscription services available to patrons as well as the occasional physical, bound book at their disposal; libraries are a quiet but important resource to students and anyone generally seeking information.

Lets face it, this is more descriptive of a modern academic library than a stack of books. Photo taken by Jamie Shapiro.