Exploring reading and libraries

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

Reading is a large part of daily life. In today's society, we learn how to read at an early age and then use it to find our way in life.

We use it to get directions from street signs, to do homework, for instructions to assemble something, to find solace in our religion when we feel we've lost our way or to get our news. Whether it's from such items as books, magazines, newspapers or the Internet, reading is still a major way of communication.

It is through reading we learn ideas, other's thoughts and feelings. Through the written word we can either develop our views in life or get entertainment, sometimes both.

A major place where we can get news, entertainment, ideas and a wide spectrum of other items is the library. While libraries have changed over the last century to include movies on DVD, music on CDs and computers for Internet access, libraries are still essentially the same, a place for books and other literary sources.

Over my life, I've spent a lot of time at libraries. Sometimes to gather research for homework, other times to catch up on the news in magazines or papers. Of course, there were the rare instances in college, like students before and after me, when I used the library to take a catnap between classes. Mainly I've used libraries to borrow books, music and movies.

I like libraries, because I enjoy reading. Growing up I would sometimes spend as long as possible at the local library. Going to college, I was a bit in awe with the library at Bemidji State University. It was this huge building with at least three stories of books and other material. The college also had another smaller library in the music department. It was a large room filled with records, since CDs were just starting to become popular. It had various genres from jazz to classic to operas to rock.

Also, the main library didn't just have items for algebra, history and science classes. Once I found a manuscript detailing ideas for a space lab, years before it was launched. Another time, a friend and I watched a video of The Seven Samurai.

That's the thing about libraries, is that they surprise you by what they hold. Since it's National Library Week go exploring at your local branch.

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