Spotlight on the Library

  • By Kate Finn
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018 10:19am
  • News

“A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life.” Norman Cousins.

Libraries seem to have always been a keystone of civilization.

When I misbehaved as a young girl, my mother often threatened to send me to Timbuktu. It turns out that Timbuktu, an ancient, and modern city, is in the country of Mali in west Africa. It has a long history as a center for learning dating back to 1510, when books sold for more money than any other merchandise in the city markets. Libraries in Timbuktu actually date back to the 8th Century AD. As a lover of Libraries, maybe being sent to Timbuktu would have been fine!

As it turns out libraries date back at least to 2-300BC in Syria, China, Greece and Rome, back to 600BC in the Neo-Assyrian Empire (now the Middle East) and back to 2,500-1,500BC in India. Books were so valuable that conquerers brought them home as part of their military plunder. From the Royal Library in Alexandria Egypt, (2-300BC) the scribes would collect all the books that came into the harbor on ships to make copies. The originals were kept in library and the copies given back to the owners.

Many early libraries were connected with monasteries, temples, palaces, and universities. Some were also private libraries of the wealthy. The Alexandria Library is famous for many reasons, amoung them, is that it may have been the first public governmental library in history, thus recognizing the value of all citizens literacy. In the United States it seems that The Darby Free Library in Pennsylvania, established in 1743, is our nation’s oldest public library. We in Homer are lucky heirs to this centuries-long legacy of growing and protecting our cultures arts, sciences and literature.

Since libraries can be an almost unlimited tool for expanding our awareness, understanding and enjoyment of life, I’l like to offer you a challenge for 2018. Step out of your routine. Try exposing yourself to different genres of information. If you love mysteries maybe try an autobiography, if your habit is science, try a novel.

If you love poetry try a non-fiction adventure story. You get the idea. As you try something new, maybe your appetite will be wetted to expand your selections even further. Have fun!

Beyond utilizing the awesome book, DVD etc. collection, regularly scheduled events and on-line programs, please consider earning critical coding skills with the “Girls Who Code” event to be held on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Jan. 20th; and 3- Thanks so much to all of you who donated books to the library through the Giving Tree this Christmas.

Knock knock. Who’s there? Snow. Snow who? Snow better place to hang out during the winter than the library!

See you there!

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