This is our 2nd Place winning essay of our Community Category. Congratulations Charles on a job well done!
Libraries Change Lives
Charles T. Le Blanc, B.S.’98 , M.S.A. ‘2002
Libraries are vital to our expansion of Knowledge, an opportunity to escape from the world of ignorance, which when utilized properly can undo the psychological damage and become a tool to enhance our lives through the developed wisdom and applied science of study. The choice, however, is ours to use, when expanding our knowledge about any subject in the world. It is this newly gained knowledge that starts a change in the individual and subsequently motivates change in others who are in contact with that individual.
There’s probably not one person that has not been affected directly or indirectly by libraries in one capacity or another around the globe. Whether you use the library tool directly or not, it still affects you in some type of way. Those of us who do benefit from its use also bring benefits to those who don’t. To this extent, they enhanced the creative ideas or further a cause that eventually affects everyone in society.
The organizational structure of the material gives inequitably hands on research data on more subjects than any other resource. The great learning that takes place from reading its books, using its computers, being a part of training workshops, interacting with other libraries and professors, in addition to having access to hands on materials, makes the library a miniature university. Authenticity of the research data and or materials in the actual book or papers is highly depended upon accuracy of materials collected and the methods of obtaining empirical information. Actually seeing and in some cases feeling the materials gives a person a sense of reliving a part of history.
As more and more books and writings are put to computer files and posted to the internet, there might be a concern that the library may lose its usefulness. But not to fear the libraries have made a smooth transition into the age of computer technology. OCLC(On-line Computer Library Center) was developed not long ago and now connects with over two billion individuals. But not everyone has access to a computer and many old timers are still computer illiterate. There are still estimated to be over one million libraries around the globe. The library addresses both those concerns by being a place where everyone can have access to the actual books, learn how to use computers, master the art of using the computer for research or writing, creating and furthering ideas, as well as sharing knowledge with the world.
Libraries have changed the lives of many in the community through architectural design. Some of the most beautiful buildings in the community are libraries. Their environments are usually controlled by tranquility to allow for much silent studying and learning. The peaceful environment puts the individual in another world. The only thing close to this environment are the university campuses, parks, museums, art institutes and some churches. Museums and art institutes run a close second to libraries but only because of their collection of rare items and atmospheres of splendor. But only the university can trump the library when it comes to increasing knowledge. But the libraries are an intricate part of every institute of learning from pre-school to advanced degree programs. Without the library the universities would be dysfunctional. The foundation for research and development are laid down at the library.
There are so many libraries in the world that they are diversified into many special types. Law libraries have been the deciding factor of whether a person spends the rest of their life behind bars or walk away free. .History sits on the shelves in many libraries in the form of ancient books, writings and charts. Art as big as it is, still has its place in the libraries of the world. The library of Congress is among the biggest library in the world and the British library in London, Great Britain is even larger being the largest library in the world but still these two cannot hold every book and writing around the world in its confines. The addition of computer cataloging has develop the library system to one of the largest giants in the world paradigm of systems.
Where would we be without libraries? We would be extremely dysfunctional and very limited in accumulating and passing information on to the generation coming behind us.
Let us thank God He gave us the wisdom to create this idea called a library. There’s no other tool like it on the face of the earth. Now let us use them and encourage others to discover the great power of the library this indeed will change their lives.