Ode to the Public Library

The shelves are all full.
Buffet of knowledge waiting.
What will you learn here?

Public libraries are indispensable. Accessible to all, and free to use, they can be both an access port and an escape. Information flows freely here, and all are welcome to drink from the fountain of knowledge. Libraries are indispensable public places, especially for those of us who can’t afford books of our own. As a society we have decided that access to knowledge should be free. Yes, you may have to pay to attend a university, but you can teach yourself anything you want for free if you only go to the library.

More importantly libraries also provide Librarians, those invaluable men and women who help us navigate the vast swarths of information to find what we are looking for. Whether you want help filling out an application, finding specific information you need or just want to broaden your horizons your trusty librarian can help. All you have to do is ask.

In a world that is becoming more and more polarized I think it is beneficial for us to remember how valuable freely accessible information is for us as a society. At the library people from all walks of life, all political views, all social classes, can mix and mingle and share in the quest for knowledge. The library is a great social equalizer. It stands, defiant of private corporations, and says “No. Knowledge and learning is for everyone, not only those who can pay.” That is why we need to fight to keep libraries alive, thriving, and funded. So that we can all have access to the information and knowledge we seek.

So next time you walk by a library adjust your path and head inside. Who knows, you might just learn something.