Discover the World at Your Library was a phrase on a poster in the Hilton Briggs Library on the campus of South Dakota State University. I can’t remember why I was there that day but I will remember that poster for the rest of my life. It seems so enchanting… to be in a comfortable, quiet setting, while crossing deserts, scaling cliffs, and learning about world cultures. Libraries are actually very fascinating places… if one should decide to visit.
We are moving into a technological age and, to the dismay of traditionalists, computers are replacing books in education. Yet the printed word remains at the core of human learning, and I do not think we will ever fully replace them. Libraries are the guardians of that tradition…
Creativity has played a more important role in getting people into libraries, and this is not a bad thing. Once inside a library, a plethora of knowledge and wonder lies at our fingertips. We must breed this fascination to help boost learning for adults and children of all ages. I read an interesting article a few weeks ago discussing the need to foster fascination in children. If parents and schools can develop a child’s curiosity for any particular subject, it will help make them better students (in all subjects) and transform them into life-long learners… something very important in a ‘knowledge economy.’
So it doesn’t matter to me how we get people into libraries, the only thing that matters is that they are in there… reading, wondering, and learning... and using their imagination!