let’s go back, way back, waaaaay back, no, back further, all the way back to…november, 2009. well, it seems like a lifetime ago, anyway.
i wrote a really short post entitled, mommy, what’s a library? it was a couple of paragraphs with a couple of links about the future of libraries. one was about libraries with or without books, and the other one was about planned construction in scandinavia of an “urban mediaspace.” this ‘mediaspace’ was to be created by SHL Architects who “believe that library design is about more than just books. Libraries revolve around people and should provide flexible spaces for social interaction as well as studying. “Urban Mediaspace” further establishes the practice as leaders of this democratic, social kind of library design.”
fast forward to 2011. don’t get dizzy. i’m conversing with a student about a project he has to do – he has to profile someone. no, not like the FBI. so i recommended some people, our library director, associate director, head of access services, research assistance librarian. but as we were conversing i had (in honor of oprah) an AHA! moment. i realized what i love about libraries (and museums which are kinda like libraries except with stuff instead of books).
i LOVE libraries because they are open…to anyone. no one asks you to identify yourself. you don’t have to “belong.” you just have to be. the library beckons you with its treasures, calling you, welcoming you. it WANTS you to come in. it wants you to take a piece of it and make it a piece of you. it doesn’t question. it doesn’t judge. it doesn’t take offense if you don’t like what it offered up. it’s patient. it knows you will find what you’re looking for…or at least get you on your way.
i LOVE reading on my amazon kindle. i LOVE reading with my grandson on an iPad. i have always LOVED technology. but when i think about why i love those things, it always takes me back to who loved me first. books, courtesy of my friendly neighborhood library.
so, the answer to the question “what’s a library?” it’s whatever you want it to be…and it’s ready and willing to be that.