“Congratulations on the new library, because it isn't just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you -- and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.”
― Isaac Asimov
If you are giving someone a gift, regardless of age, I can't think of a better one than a library card. The first thing Linda and I did after arriving in our new community of Digby, NS last summer was apply for our library cards. They came in the mail on a hot summer day, but it felt like Christmas.
Even better, our library cards were completely free of charge, as they are in many public libraries. Free card, free borrowing, free, free, free. How can you beat that?
These days anything publicly funded is being targeted by mean-spirited, anti-community, anti-knowledge governments looking to move more funds into private pockets. Public libraries have long been underfunded, but now their very existence is threatened.
In Canada our federal government has been closing government controlled libraries, and has gone so far as to destroy materials and burn books. 100 years of environmental research materials were burned or dumped in landfills.
Public libraries, while chronically underfunded, are safe... for now.
One way we can show our support for our public libraries is to get a card. And use it. A lot.
Right now I am using my library to enjoy several music CDs, a few movies on DVD, and one of the most beautiful books I have ever checked out. The book is the Smithsonian Definitive Visual History of Music. It is huge, filled with photos and information, and is transporting me through thousands of years of musical history.
The timeline for my musical tome is from 60,000 BCE to the current era. I am travelling through time and space (for free), and humming a tune as I go along.
You can too. Get a library card for yourself, or someone you love, and gain access to books, music, computers, movies, and your own civilization and community.