A Library’s Appeal
By Callan Chandler
You don’t have to be a literary genius to know that libraries are an integral part of the reading community across the world. From scholars to hobbyists; those looking to learn a new skill or simply to lose themselves in a magical world full of conflict and battle, libraries have undoubtedly fostered a desire to read.
Whether you’re looking to compare todays reality with that of Orwell’s 1984, revisit the dustbowl darkness of Steinbeck or looking to delve deep into classics such as Wuthering Heights, a library is likely your very first choice. After all, specific books can be hard to find – and that’s before you consider the price!
Even through changing times, the rise of the digital age and the abundance of e-books, libraries have continued to foster reading for centuries. But just how has a seemingly archaic system remained relevant and prosperous for so long?
The main appeal of a library is that it’s easy to access; it can provide a great deal of high-quality resources, catered to a range of different people. You don’t need to follow a complex joining procedure or meet some unknown criteria – libraries are a public asset for whatever you might need.
Most libraries operate on a ‘card’ system, which will include your user details along with what you currently have on loan. These are generally free to apply for, and do not involve any running costs.
Libraries are also optimized for a large demographic, catering to different cultures, ages, genders and abilities, allowing them to become a real hotspot for literary activity.
Cheaper than bookstores
Let’s be honest… bookstores can be expensive. This can make reading a restrictive hobby to some who might not have the spare cash they need to buy their favorite books, potentially pushing readers away from picking up a new book.
Libraries can help to provide an affordable (actually free…) solution to this! Using your library card, you can simply ‘borrow’ books for a predetermined amount of time. If you need a little longer to finish the story, don’t worry – you’ll always be able to borrow it again.
This can be a massive benefit to families who might not have as much money but are still looking for ways to educate or entertain themselves. Similarly, it can be a great way for younger people (who might not have an income), or even older people to read without having to worry about the cost.
The human desire to learn is incredibly powerful, and since libraries can provide an outlet for forward thinking and creativity, they have been an essential influence on fostering reading habits throughout the ages.
Libraries also bring people together through community events, reading groups and by acting as an activity center; frequenters may benefit from learning or study sessions, book discussions or even children’s activities.
This provides a great way for people to build lasting bonds between each other, as well as a regular meeting place where they can further encourage their passions.