The Magic of Libraries

10Nov10

When I was a child, I was a fan of the city library – a frequent borrower and I treasured my library card.

As a doctoral scholar now, I find I don’t go nearly enough (and instead rely on work spaces provided by living arrangements or departments).

But yesterday, I found myself working in not one, but two beautiful University libraries.  As I sat there (and shivered a little bit – old libraries have old heating systems as to be expected), I realized how I missed the  magic of libraries.

  • peace and quiet
  • surrounded by other thinkers / scholars / perhaps procrastinators
  • a wonderful free service to explore any topic that you wish
  • the rustling of papers and small amount of working stress
  • to know others in your exact position have sat there before you and pondered
  • and my FAVOURITE piece of magic: when tired or in need of a break, the ability to walk up and down the aisles and peruse all the thousands of titles on the shelf… and find new random titles/topics that you can fall in love with. I love finding books not exactly in my study area – but relevant and interesting.
  • Yesterday, I found a book I had been meaning to read for a long time, but had not gotten to:  “the Black Swan” by Nassim Taleb to explain high impact, rare events…. Okay, I went to the library to write a paper. And came out with a paper AND new ideas!

I often look around my environment and am thankful for many opportunities my University ecosystem has to offer.

I would like to see these opportunities be offered to scholars everywhere, in any discipline!

Open a new corner of your mind: Read a book. (and thanks to the organizations out there who are expanding the network of traditional and micro-libraries around the world!)

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