A day at the library shows why there is still a need for them
An Original Content Written by Michael S Sheaffer
On this particular rainy day I am at a local library to view some microfilm of old newspapers looking for some marriage announcements. As I look away from the microfilm to gather my eyes,stretch my neck, and ponder a research dilemma I look around and take in the scene unfolding around me at this library. I have always been a keen observer of those around me and felt a particular interest this day to let my mind wonder with those around me.What I saw was a bustling building full of patrons, some in casual conversation, several browsing the aisles in search of books, several more either talking with the library staff or sitting at a table reading or writing/typing with others at computers.. Mostly I see a rainbow of individuals from diverse backgrounds from within the community using a community resource as it should be.
I am particularly interested in a tall slender middle-aged mother (I assume) sitting at a children’s table.
Her knees rising high above the table as she sits in a little chair with her young daughter who is fighting to say the words to a certain book about a big red dog without the help of Mom who nudges her with encouragement, and eventually with the correct pronunciation. the young daughter continues on proudly reading a page by herself in which a big smile comes across her face and her mothers….as well as mine
I look over at the computers of which there appear to be near a dozen and see 4 young men and an elderly woman, I would guess to be in her sixties, all focusing on there respective computer screens. I also gaze at what appears to be that of a young college student sitting at a table with journal books spread out, a computer on his right side, an Ipad on the left as well as having headphones attached to some sort of music player in his lap bopping his head as though he were listening to his favorite song. He was multi tasking as many students do these days but was writing and typing away and obviously not planning on leaving anytime soon. I wonder to myself how he is learning anything? I then think that maybe being at the library jamming to his favorite tunes and work assignments spread out is his comfort zone….something for which i can respect!
As I have been most of my life I am interested in the observance of others around me. Being that I am in a library I am thinking to myself what are all these people here for? As I do a quick headcount I can see there appears to be 21 persons (staff not included) in this particular (main) branch of this local library system. They all are here for some reason or another to use the library as a resource for there educational, personal, social, and research guided needs.
I have heard the modern day library has nothing to offer the millenials, but as I observed on this day that is not true. With the recent news of library closings, cutbacks, and mergings I came to realize that losing a library in the community would be another loss for our social/educational outlet that is only making our children of this age and future ages less social. A library open regularly for the community offers the community all these choices and more on a daily basis. our so called community leaders should take the time to do what I was doing and just observe what the magic of a library can hold. With all that is wrong in the world, spending a few hours at your local community library with fellow community neighbors just seems right. I just wish our elected officials would see it the same way.