“A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” – Shelby Foote
There are various buildings in a school – the lecture halls, the hostels, the restaurants, the admin blocks, the laboratories, etc. – but none is as important as the library. Of the various facilities I utilized in higher school, the library was among the most crucial.
Wikipedia defines a library as a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. But I love Cambridge’s two definitions more:
A building, room, or organization that has a collection, especially of books, for people to read or borrow, usually without payment
A collection or set of books or other things, all produced in the same style or about the same subject:
I looked at my course handbook and perused through the requirements for each of the courses for my very first semester. I was familiar with all but one – Engineering Workshop. I have never encountered such subject in secondary school and I was not a student of metal or wood work. The closest I knew was Technical Drawing which metamorphosed into Engineering Drawing. I needed help before lectures began proper. I could only find one in the library.
The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library – Albert Einstein
With a library card, I was able to access the library, perused through the collections and chose a book that answered my questions wholesomely. I read a while in the building but had to borrow the book for further reading. It became the genesis of my constant visit to the library and eventual desire to borrow a book I need to enrich my knowledge.
As Cambridge defined, the use of library is usually without payment. You can say the internet offers more information than the library but how organized are these information gotten from the library? How reliable are the answers google gives to you? Yes, the internet itself is a library, just as you are reading this post but there is a good number of information that is not on the net but is neatly arranged in your school library.
Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one. – Neil Gaiman
Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries. –Anne Herbert
As a student, you may not have so much money to buy every book needed for a particular course. You may not have so much cash to visit the café. You may not have data to surf the internet on your phone. You may not even be buoyant enough to own a smartphone. So what do you do? Sit, fold your arms and blame your current situation? There is a library in your school, use it. I prefer to read hard copy documents than the electronic ones. There is also the fun of stumbling upon the book the lecturer uses, accessibility to books with easier explanations, past questions, journals, videos, CDs, and whole world of new things.
Everything you need for better future and success has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library. –Henri Frederic Amiel
To have a library card, know the location of a library or even own a library is one thing; the usage and application of the knowledge learnt is another thing entirely. The former is of no use if the latter doesn’t come to pass. It is like have a very beautiful bible that is rarely read. It is like hearing God’s words and refusing to do as He says.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – James 1:22
There may be no physical library in your community; you can build yours in your room. The bible should be our first piece in our library and is itself a library. It is a collection of God’s words and commandments and a direction to the good life. If you don’t own one, what have you been reading?
This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success – Joshua 1:8
Build your personnel library. You may not know all things but with a library you have the opportunity to access all things.
Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. –Sidney Sheldon