Here, you may find guides on voting, on taxes, on cemetery research. Board games and puzzles, paperbacks and tamp catalogs. A vault full of DVDs and books on tape. A newspaper nook straight out of a Manhattan Gentleman’s club. Countless cozy corners with comfy chairs and dimmed lighting. A communal living room where the Mystery book club dissects its latest victim; carefully, lovingly scrutinizing the prose, the plot, and the premise.
So, moms with kids come. Au pairs with heavy accents come. Kids with friends and sturdy backpacks come. Diligent students do homework and research, while delinquent students check phones and play computer games. All attended to by friendly librarians who give them space and privacy and the occasional smile, and who know the sequence of the Star Wars prequels by heart. These are not book worms, they’re knowledge pros.
Sure, there’s free wifi, but for the teens and tweens draped
across the couches in the young adult section, it seems a place to deliberately
disconnect from the world, if only briefly, and instead become thoroughly engrossed
in a good read.
Yes, even in this era of the virtual and digital, good ol’ books are everywhere, if in part merely to reinforce the familiar library theme. But as a physical presence the library offers anyone of any age peace and quiet, food for thought, and a setting in which to stretch out and relax or exercise the mind however one sees fit. In here, for as long as you wish, you are free to slow down and think, and just “be” —inspired, informed, entertained; instead of perpetually distracted like in the hectic world outside.