Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Public Libraries as Egalitarian Institutions

I spent the day in the public library studying and writing. Public libraries are perhaps the most under-appreciated and over-looked information and education resources in American cities and towns. Specifically thinking about socioeconomic and class issues to information and resource access, public libraries really do address these issues. Not only can one check out literature (fiction and non-fiction) but the catalogs of education books, texts and references for all levels is a marvel. Libraries have always been the place where one can access public archives and texts, and now they are internet hubs, too.

Though funding varies from place to place, most modern libraries have free computer and internet access for any member of the public. Competition for these computers can be fierce, but it is available. Also, libraries offer free literacy classes, GED preparation, and computer lessons. They also serve as community meeting places.

Public Libraries are great education resources. Support your library, host an informal class or make a donation. It’s for everyone – all ages, all education levels, all economic levels. Few institutions are truly as egalitarian as our libraries.

1 comment:

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

If I remember correctly, Benjamin Franklin came up with this idea of free libraries... another reason he's one of my favorite past Americans.