There are those who mock the importance of the public sector. Often when they do, they take direct aim at institutions of knowledge such as our public libraries. Personally, I don’t want to live in a world when a place where much of our collective knowledge is curated, cataloged and disseminated is considered unimportant. Perhaps we don’t “go to the library” as much as we used to, but we “visit” the library online, can download ebooks and utilize its knowledge base to better ourselves. Libraries also offer a quiet place for youngsters to study. Something many of our less fortunate American youngsters do not have at home. One might even say that an attack on our public libraries is an attack on the upward mobility. And they aren’t just for the underprivileged, I grew up fairly wealthy but still remember very fondly the time I spent in the public library when I was in school. Special programs spark young minds into thinking about careers that go beyond finance and Wall Street. These same programs can also invigorate older brain cells to think in new directions.
Recently, I have seen in many quarters a disdain for information in favor of rumor and misinformation. I find this trend very disturbing. It is what is leading us pell mell into a race to the bottom. Looking at our “soundbite” crazy and generally “fact-free” presidential elections I am dismayed at our disregard for knowledge and even academia itself. I happen to have a doctorate -but I’m almost afraid to admit as much – just in case someone think that I’m a snobby “elite”.
Libraries offer a place to study, to learn and explore. I’m sorry if many of you think they are a waste of time and money. Knowledge is power and education is not folly. Yes, facts can sometimes interfere with beliefs or strongly held opinions. I say embrace the facts and embrace knowledge. Ignorance is NOT bliss.
Anyway, those were my thoughts while I was snapping photos of this marvelous structure. I was also encouraged to see two rather young patrons exiting the library as I was taking the shot below….
The Irvington Library – Musings on the importance of public libraries in our lives and community….
© 2012 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – First posted in FotosOnTheFly.biz – All rights reserved.