The Public Library

26 07 2007

Just wanted to give a shout out to my local public library. I have to say there are few instituions that I love more than a public library.  If you have ever travelled to a third world country you will understand why. The libraries here in the good ol US of A are awesome.  They are places for family, fun and learning. Our libraries have fun activities for the kids. They show videos and play games. In addition, there is story time and summer reading contests and cultural diversity/geography adventures. It’s the one place many parents can count on sending their kids once or twice a week in order (for the parent(s))to capture some of their lost sanity and have an actual adult conversation. Adults may enjoy the free use of a computer for an hour, browse books, magazines, or newspapers, or maybe even pour over Geneology records (my pleasure), or simply sit back and relax while their children are happily supervised and occupied. Contrast this to the third world countries that I have visited and there is no comparison. The public libraries that I visited in Indonesia had guards! You dared speak and it was all seriousness. Children? no way! Activities? no way! Stuffy? Overbearing? Absolutely! I wanted to not walk but run from the place! Don’t get me wrong, Indonesia has fairs and festivals for children and they are heaps of fun! It’s just that the library here and the library there are definatley meant for different purposes.

 I’m interested to hear from people in other countries about your public libraries!? Or those of you in the “good ‘ol US of A” feel free to agree or disagree with my assessment. After all, I am one woman and it’s just my personal perspective.


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11 responses

27 07 2007
ummabdurrahman

As Salaamu Alaikum:

Books!!! Yes, totally agree with the system that is “ORGANIZED” for our children in the states. Personally, it is unfortunate to see that countries outside of the USA are not equipped with these kinds of resources. Unless, you are affiliacted with working for the U.S. State Department of Education for American overseas school. Then yes there is a minority of children that have access to the library with english books and some in their native language. Outside of the private schools overseas depending on the culture you can find that it may or may not be a reading culture. In another words, a lack of practice can contribute to not instilling the love of books at home. Libraries are such a vital source for combatting illeteracy and again depending on the country people may have access to reading from their privates schools libraries which are set up to deliver this kind of familarity of books or there may be a school outside of the city that recieves contriutions from people. So, yeah I am really pleased with what I have experienced with how organized public libraries are in the states. Not all kids are fortunate to recieve a book in their hand or to be read to when as you have seen seems to be lacking in some parts of the world.

Good post and an awareness to everybody that one should take advantage of services that are provided for the sole purpose of helping others.

27 07 2007
adikbongsu

Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakahtu sister,

yes yes yes!!…library is a great place to be. Am very fortunate that Singapore’s libraries are very well-equipped and the buildings are well furnished to cater different needs of the society.

In fact I have been working in the library for 16 years. 🙂
But my library is an educational library and yet I still do make time to go to the National Library at least once every fortnight with my kids.

I can simply just sit and read books in the library for hours and hours without feeling tired or bored…hehee

thks sister for giving me an insight to the library in America 🙂

27 07 2007
carimuslima

Well living in the ol’good US of A, I have to say I would agree. I’ve been to libaries in the Dominican Republic and just isn’t the same when it comes to catering to children. I think all the libraries I’ve been too in the USA really are meant to be family quality time. They have so many things for the whole family especially for children. I think the fact that its just better to read a book for free from the library is more convenient than buying books at times. The puppet shows, story times, the exhibits during the summer are wonderful, and who wouldn’t want to spend a hot summer day inside a cool place. But that’s my opinion. I have always loved since a little girl the smell of old books in the library…CALL ME NUTS…. but LOL you’ll find me once in a blue just flipping pages to get that good ol’ book smell *blushing*. Anyway I think its a great place because its free and defiitely convenient and close by to most communities. I love my library and give them 2 thumbs up!!!! Hugs😉

27 07 2007
Shahrzad

Salam
In my country the same Indoneysia library is a serious place unfortunatelyl. Even i dont like to go there to study. I prefer to buy books and come bk home and lay down and read them in peace; Anyway it is third world!🙂

27 07 2007
Sumera

I love libraries!😀

27 07 2007
Bubbles

Assalamu ‘alaikum,

Interesting observation there. I think in every country the atmosphere in certain places is reflective of the general mood. US is a developed country, the needs of its citizens are different from those in Indonesia or Nigeria, where I’m from.

We don’t have guards in the libraries here though I think they’re there so people don’t nick books. You know not all libraries have electronically tagged their books so they can tell when it’s going the wrong direction.

We have just books, and other educational media. The government is basically encouraging people to read more and trying hard to make these materials accessible for public use.

28 07 2007
Umm Layth

as-Salaamu `alaykum

I love libraries. When I lived with my family in San Diego, we lived right near a library. It was approximately a 5 minute walk from our house – so not very far at all. My brothers & sister and I used to go down in the weekends, and we would just look through the books and use the computer. We had a blast each time. The library always felt relaxing for us, and thus we spent a lot of our time there.

Books are awesome. My husband loves university libraries, ad I just totally love the smell of a new book. I also love holding a book that I have never read. Aww, the joy of books.

28 07 2007
Anne

As a librarian, I’m always delighted to come across people who appreciate what we do and the services we offer. I wish there were more, especially when money gets tight – too many libraries have closed as cities and towns trim their budgets, cutting important service and materials from the the people who need and use them the most.

28 07 2007
Umm Yusuf

😀 Thanks for visiting my blog Anne!

Yeah, I definitely appreciate the library and the services they offer. I have been fortunate enough to live in areas that have excellent funding for the public libraries. It’s really sad that such an institution is often taken for granted. Many people can not even afford to buy books for themselves and their children. Many people can’t afford to put their children in play groups, day camps, or day cares. Thus, the library is a very important resource for these people and a very enjoyable resource for us all.

29 07 2007
kissimmeeflagent

I totally agree with you, I am from Venezuela and when I was in school we had to go to the public library to do research for school work. Let’s just say it was not something that I looked forward to do. The library was very stuffy and the books were not the worst part, they only had very old versions of anything. When I went to the library here for the first time I was so surprised because there were movies, cds, and activities for all ages. I love the library and now my children (born here) love it too.

2 08 2007
Umm Maymoonah

I love libraries and the smell of books! When I was younger I wanted to be a librarian. Then I became an assistant librarian at my high school I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would….

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