Child at the Library
Business & Leadership Behaviors Random Thoughts

Libraries – Still a Wealth of Opportunity and Knowledge

Before the internet, libraries were our only access to an abundance of information on just about any subject.  And it was FREE!

I remember back in the early ’60s when my mom took me to the Springfield Public Library, and we got my first library card.  It felt like I had joined the world, and an entirely new adventure lay before me.  It was my first identification card (very special) which I kept safe in my personal item drawer.  I wonder where it is now?

“I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.”  ~Laura Bush

 My use of the library really exploded with entering school.  For years I went to the library every Friday to find another “adventure” to live in that weekend.  Books helped me to pass the lazy summer hours (I was an early riser) before it was time to go out and play.  Reading on an army cot under a shade tree in the backyard is one of my favorite memories of my younger summers.

“We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth.”  ~John Lubbock

As I moved up into upper grades and eventually college, the library became my reference hub (remember microfiche?) for materials associated with my studies.  That use continued on into my early work career when I needed market and prospect research.  The Milwaukee Public Library had a section – for FREE – that you could call, and they would send you business information on request.

I suspect many of you have similar stories about how libraries have benefited our lives.  They have continued to evolve as sources for ebooks, video rentals (free, of course), and other online services.  Libraries have grown and expanded in our “internet world” today, still offering valuable services – and still for FREE!

There are many examples of how libraries and books have contributed to individual success and even directly benefited our lives.  A recent one I came across was that of Andy Andrews.  At one point when he was young and homeless, a library helped him turn his life around and go on to achieve great success as an author and professional speaker.

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”  ~Walter Cronkite

We owe a lot to our local communities and people like Andrew Carnegie.  While sometimes controversial in business, he really exemplified a philanthropic spirit – especially when it came to libraries.  He is considered the “founder of public libraries” and was responsible for starting 2,509 of them!

I still love the feel of a hardback book in my hands when I sit down to read.  Since I don’t wish to pay the $20+ a new book costs, I can just borrow that book for free just a couple of miles away.  Everyone, in my opinion, should celebrate their local public libraries – first by joining and being active, and then by financially supporting them to their ability.

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”  ~Albert Einstein

I sometimes take them for granted, but we’re fortunate to have such a rich and extensive library system there for us – and still for FREE!