I am a library fanatic. Today, thirteen months after being slammed shut due to the Covid19 pandemic, my local libraries are back. To be fair my county library system did a bang up job from the get go on keeping us connected. As a team they created a near instant order, drop off, pick up, safe handling operation allowing us to take hundreds of books home while we sheltered in place. It was a splendid feat.
The Hotel for Stories
If I could describe a library it would be "the hotel for stories". Each book has a space. A place to tuck in while it waits to be selected. Books chill and age on their shelves. Much like fine wine and cheese. In the quiet, you can hear them whispering to you.
My local libraries have cozy reading areas with soft chairs, fireplaces, large glass windows. This way you can grab a book off a shelf, plop down on soft chair and escape from life. Beyond a place to escape, libraries are the first line of defense in the quest for knowledge. Each drop of knowledge helps the world grow.
The Million-Word Gap
Libraries allow us to heal our life with no charge. In those sacred aisles are the tools to close the illiteracy gap in life. Reading is as necessary as breathing. We use it every day and don't even think about it, unless we don't have it or can't do it. In 2019, I wrote Book Nooks:Closing the Million-Word Gap; its focus was on childhood literacy yet the issue applies to all ages. G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D. stated;
"Simply stated, the development of reading skills serves as THE major foundational academic ability for all school-based learning. Without the ability to read, the opportunities for academic and occupational success are limited indeed. Moreover, because of its importance, difficulty in learning to read crushes the excitement and love for learning that most children have when they enter school."
Now with libraries open again, we can all get back to reading the stories and instructions we need for life.