Last week The Nation published an article called “Why Public Libraries Matter” speaking about why it is important to continue public funding of the more than 16,000 central and branch libraries nationwide. There is a stark digital divide in this country and public libraries serve as an important resource to help bridge that divide, especially for lower income communities and communities of color. However, for me, a privileged continuously connected millennial, the main reason why libraries are so important is simply because they’re awesome.
I love libraries, so much so that when traveling the national library is usually the first destination on my list. The British National Library, for example, houses two of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, handwritten letters from Shakespeare and even cooler, Beatles lyrics jotted down in notebooks! They even have Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence! The Library of Congress in DC is the largest library in the world with more than 7 million items in its collection and serves as an important national resource of cultural history. Libraries and librarians are a treasured resource who should be treated as such.
Being a nerd is an expensive endeavor; comics, books, movies, television, the internet, and conventions all of these things add up and can take a major toll on the pocket book. Public libraries are such a great way to help reduce this costs. They are also a great way to discover new genres and take risks with almost no financial hit. Let’s be honest, it will cost you at least $15 to buy a new book and going to the movies is at least a $20 investment, how angry would you be if you spent that on something that you didn’t enjoy?
I have made a conscious effort to reduce my consumption this year, I’ve run out of room on my bookshelves and I’ve been thinking about the environmental impact of purchasing all of these books that I only read once or worst don’t read at all. Libraries are essential in my quest to not consume and though at times I cannot resist the call of a new book or comic or magazine, I have definitely been relying on my local library to provide me with the books I want, FREE!
Books, movies, and comic books are essential for nerds and libraries and the amazing librarians who work in them, are the best gateway to those essentials. Start up a conversation with your local librarian and you will be amazed at all of the knowledge and amazing recommendations you’ll receive! Also, librarians are awesome. The great Prince infamously said at the grammy’s this year “Like books and Black Lives, albums matter”, well I would like to add that you can find all of those things at your local library. Libraries matter.