Libraries are overlooked and underrated

Mercury Bowen, Entertainment Reporter

In a world of technology and digitization, it is easy to think of libraries as nothing more than old buildings full of dusty books and an old woman behind a desk shushing people.

This could not be further from the truth.

Many people today also believe that libraries are a thing of the past and will soon cease to exist.

This is also highly unlikely.

One of the wonderful things about libraries from the very beginning is that they are places of resources.

While books are the first and foremost things that people think of being in libraries, they are far from the only resources libraries have to offer.

They can hold films, games, puzzles, puppets and even equipment.

One library I know of checks out a VHS player and a slide projector on a regular basis.

Another has whole racks of puppets for patrons to check out.

These are just a few of the countless resources libraries can offer.

The idea that libraries will fade out of existence seems unfathomable to me.

The very purpose of a library is to provide invaluable resources to people, and the idea that that could go away simply because technology and digital books are growing in popularity is preposterous.

By and large libraries are also very good at adapting to the times.

Some libraries even offer collections of online material, such as eBooks and audiobooks.

Most libraries today even have a section of computers for patrons to use.

These can be extremely important to a community, as computers are extremely expensive.

The idea that a library offers such a resource for free is certainly an excellent one.

Another really excellent aspect of a library is that it is more often than not a quiet, tranquil place.

In the buzzing world we live in today, it can be difficult to find a truly quiet place to take a breath.

Libraries are great for this.

That said, one thing online and technological resources can never compete with brick and mortar libraries on is the human interaction.

While the stereotype of a strict librarian that demands silence is one that has prevailed for several years, in truth librarians can be a wealth of information simply in and of themselves.

Librarians have all kinds of incredible knowledge that can be invaluable to patrons in need of assistance.

It has been said that before there was Google there were librarians, and I think this really puts into perspective how important librarians are.

A librarian often knows their library really well, and this makes them a very valuable resource often as much as the actual materials in the library.

Be it books, movies, kits, games, puzzles, equipment, human interaction, computers or any other resource a library has to offer, libraries are vast treasure troves that are widely underutilized.

Mercury Bowen is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].