07 May The Importance of Libraries/Library
“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.”(Andrew Carnegie)
The above topic is too vast to cover, how do you write about a place that houses the very words that one uses to describe its entity and importance.
The library is an institution that is over nineteen decades old, its identity has evolved and adapted to change through different times, but the one thing that remains constant is its importance.
The literal definition is; A Library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both.
The library plays an integral role in economic, social and intellectual growth, not only of an individual level but also builds the mindsets of communities/countries.
The most fundamental quality of a library is the introduction of its members/attendees to the art of reading. Almost every kind of learning is dependent on one’s ability to read.
As the great Roald Dahl said “If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books”.
The library is a place that holds immense knowledge, and for writers/educationalists like us if you look hard enough, maybe even a bit of magic.
“Reading is to the mind what exercise it to the body“ (Joseph Addison), libraries are a place where such exercise is possible. Enabling the acquiring of information and rationale that is not only limited to ones academia or career but transcending beyond boundaries into different cultures, arts, history, literature, political science etc.
Knowledge can be acquired through many sources, books are perhaps still the most trusted source in our lives today. Due to the fact that the internet has a shadow of anonymity attached to it making it difficult to cite references and authenticate information.
A library also serves as a safe haven, a space that welcomes people from all walks of life irrespective of socio economic backgrounds, cultures or community enabling eradication of illiteracy and broadening one’s mind resulting in positive thinking, intellectual growth and stimulation of one’s thoughts and ideas. The scientific benefits of reading are astounding.
Linguistically the library helps in learning new languages, and further enhancement of one’s speaking, verbal and communication skills thus, resulting in better comprehension, composition etc.
One of the main advantages a library is it’s nature to share, letting it’s attendees borrow books giving readers access to books that are rare and maybe not so easily available to purchase.
In a nutshell libraries play an integral role in shaping intellect and mindset of not only people, but are vital for the growth and prosperity of nations.
Some interesting facts:
According to research (Google) there are approximately 129,846,880 books in the world.
The World’s largest library is, The Library Of Congress, in Washington, D.C., it’s the largest library in the world in both shelf space and number of books and is the official research library of the United States, Congress.
- The World’s oldest library is, Al–Qarawiyyin library in Fez, Morocco.
- The World’s top three reading nations are: