By: Anna Lee
I have a somewhat embarrassing secret: I love libraries. I have been going to my local library since I was a child, and I made my first library card 9 years ago. I have been there longer than most of the library staff, have volunteered there for three summers during high school, and still go there to study or to tutor, even now, as a university student. I know this isn’t exactly the juiciest gossip, but it’s always been slightly embarrassing for me to tell someone about my love for the library.
Other than being a wonderful place filled and filled with books, libraries are the perfect places to study. If you are one of those people who need absolute, dead silence, or are someone who thrives in group study sessions, libraries have all different environments. More than that, libraries carry sources that are more real and reliable – not to mention tangible- than most of the materials that float around the internet. To have that at one’s immediate disposal, just by the virtue of being in that place, is pretty phenomenal.
Most libraries are equipped with computers, and as long as you have a library card at whichever branch your library is located in, you can have access to more than just books. For students or adults without computers, the library computers are easily accessible, and this alleviates the pressure for low-income families to get access to education and other resources that they may not get elsewhere.
The Cost, or Lack Thereof
The most apparent benefit of a library, as hinted at previously, is that it’s free! Anyone and everyone is welcome, and books don’t discriminate its readership. Anyone can read, study, or browse without so much a glance from others who are busy doing pretty much the same thing. It’s both public and private, and I find that so lovely. What better place is there to hide than in stacks and stacks of books? College and high school students, too, can save money by borrowing, not buying, the books you need for your classes. Ever since my disastrous freshman fall semester in university, when I spent hundreds of dollars on books that I barely glanced at, I decided to check out the libraries first before looking through Amazon. With the resources provided at my school and my public library, I only had to buy two books out of 40 or 60 I was expected to get. And if that is not a life-saving tip, I don’t know what is.
Libraries are so underrated, and no, you don’t have to obsess over libraries in the same manner I have. However, if you’ve never visited that local library a few blocks away from your house, plan a day to visit. You truly never know what gems you are going to find in that little building you pass by every day.