National Library Week: Reading is Fundamental
Libraries = Strong Communities
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My favorite places to be since before I could read, were libraries. Whenever we moved we would go to the library in the town and I would fall in love with the children’s or young adult section. I loved everything about libraries from the natural light to the fact you could look at children’s books and just get lost in the pictures. I used to do this thing that I called “thinking” in which I would pace back and forth looking at a picture in a book and writing a story in my head. I still do it to burn off steam but I do it listening to music and getting my thoughts in order for the day. My first job was as a shelver and my current job is as a librarian in a medical library. I remember reading a book where I found out you could major in library science. I mean you could still go to school and learn about being a librarian? I was so excited. I truly love being a librarian but like many jobs, there are a lot of misconceptions.
Lots of people will ask you, why do you need a masters degree? To be honest, you do. I mean there is stuff that you intuitively know but a lot about library science is deconstructing data, creating metadata, and knowing how to understand metrics. Libraries take knowledge and create new systems of learning it. It’s learning how to see the world in a new light. A lot of artificial intelligence deals with understanding what librarians already know. It’s a special job and that just touches the technical part. It’s also a service job so the people who work in public libraries get to see the public and that includes everyone. The thing about libraries is that they are a public good. They were created during the age of reason (Jane Austen mentions the early libraries where people would just rent books from a small group of books) so people could learn how to read and better themselves. That being said, you don’t have to pay money to go the library. It’s where everyone can use the computer and they help children with literacy and homework. It provides incredible services.
As more things go digital, a lot of people have questioned the need for libraries. Just the physical space of a place where you are surrounded by people who love to learn or are there to be part of a community. You see the best sides of people in libraries. You get to see people learning on their own terms in their own ways. Not saying libraries don’t have issues and people that work in major public libraries have stories. But you get to go and learn about things you had no idea you were interested in. My new thing has been getting physical cookbooks and writing down the recipes and meal planning. To me, this is way easier than going online. I love seeing what cookbooks they have. My son, who is a toddler, loves every second at the library. It’s a place where he can read and observe to his heart’s content. Children’s libraries aren’t garish. They aren’t brightly lit with conflicting color schemes and it’s about learning and not purchasing. Having a kid, there’s a lot of places that are about upcharging. It’s a little scary. You see people learning English. You see people meeting and discussing things. You run into people you want to see at libraries. It’s a curated collection that brings out the best in literature. Not to say all librarians believe the same things but it’s safe to say most of us go into this field because we love to learn and want you to love it the same way. I love libraries because so many people are bright and it’s a nontraditional way to learn and celebrate learning. Most people you meet are nerdy about something. Libraries help us explore. I hope you join me in celebrating a great and necessary profession.
So all you do is read all day?
That’s a big cup of nope. I do a lot and I do get to read but I rarely have time to pick up a physical book and read it at work. I do a lot and most of it is teaching or helping people find the highest level of research. However, I will elaborate on some books that I friggin’ love and suggest you check out from your library. These are books that I got from libraries and books I would not have picked up unless they had been suggested to me.
A book that made me hopeful
This book was great and I wasn’t expecting it to be. Confession time: I haven’t read Wild because I’m not emotionally ready. Again, I lost a parent and somedays are better than others. But I read Tiny Beautiful Things and it was wonderful. The stories were amazing and the advice was great and kind. It was the kind of book that stays with you and I think people should read it. Sometimes you read books that are like, “glad I did not make this choice.” It was almost like the Seventeen sex advice columns when I was a teen, in that it gave me advice on being a married lady in my thirties with small children. It’s this refreshing feeling of “other people worry about this too.” Also, you don’t know everything. I got to vicariously live through other people and I want to drink tea with Cheryl Strayed and tell her how amazing she is. The book was just truth. Right now we need that kind of relevance. HIghly, highly suggested. It was like hanging out with a friend.
Monique Floral Peplum Top
from: Cents of Style
Historical book I’m still thinking about.
Two years ago, I tried to read all the Man Booker Prize winners. Having a small child and dealing with the terrible male author writing about women forced me to stop in the middle BUT, there were some gems in there. There is a reason these books are rewarded. Even the ones I don’t care for generally have some redeeming qualities. This book, The Siege of Krishnapur, was about the Sepoy Mutiny and it had all kinds of interesting ideas and it was beyond relevant for today. It was about a culture clash and people being completely ignorant to their own detriment. There also was a whole interesting thing about evidence-based medicine when people just absolutely refused to believe it. It’s about how much people change after trauma and who gets through it. I highly suggest it. It’s through the NYRB Classics (BTW I have not read a book in that collection that was not fabulous).
Kiyonna Womens Plus Size Audrey Lace Dress-Sale! Black Noir
from: Kiyonna Clothing
Another great book about history
I sometimes like to go to the Goodreads best of lists and I chose The Memoirs of Hadrian by Margeurite Yourcenar. It’s an incredible story of introspection in Ancient Rome and it is beyond haunting. It’s a biography but also something that is both artistic and timeless. It’s a book I wouldn’t have picked up unless it was suggested to me and I hope you take the time to check it out.
A book about the power of libraries
Here’s a long story, I found an article about wizards and their history in the world. Like people who believed they were wizards in real life (not Harry Potter) and it was filled with bizarre quotes about people licking toads for DMT and it was the kind of weird thing I LOVE. They mentioned Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco and I decided to check him out. It’s a wonderful look at conspiracy theories. But I lost myself in The Name of the Rose and it is everything I love, historical mysteries, medieval times, and absolutely fantastic writing. The library and librarians play a huge part of the book and the whole thing just challenges you to use your mind in different ways. It’s not pretentious. It was written by someone who loved the theories in history and you could tell he had an absolute ball writing it. I would suggest it to everyone.
Click on the link to find more designs from Minted. They are fabulous.
I now leave you to geek out at the library
Please take time to visit your local library and be extra kind to people who work there. It’s a majestic and fun place to be. Oh, and to celebrate feel free to take the free printable bookmarks that I made to celebrate! Happy National Library Week!