*Full disclosure: I work at one of my campus libraries and it's truly made me appreciate just how fun libraries can be.*
People hold many different perceptions about libraries and in the twenty-first century; most people don't even think about libraries. With easy access to the Internet and online journals, why would anyone need to even step foot into a library? However libraries have multiple uses, cool facts and if you keep reading, they just might grow on you.
1. They’re the original Google.
Before Google launched in 1998, people pretty much had to go to libraries if they wanted to do any research. They had to find the books they needed for their papers/projects and actually read them, taking notes (probably handwritten). Google is great and all, but it wasn’t the first place to store a bunch of information — or even all of the world’s information. Before Google, librarians worldwide worked hard to produce collections of information for people.
2. They provide computer, book and printing access to those who may not have it.
One thing I’m constantly reminded of while at a library — especially on my open campus — is the access they provide to the public. People who may not have Internet access at home or homeless people who may be in need of a shelter and reading space can always rely on their local library to go to. Libraries are, in a way, the ultimate good Samaritan.
3. Library employees tend to be hella rad.
Social awkwardness aside, library employees (ahem) tend to be pretty cool people. They were the kids in high school that were super unique and interesting to talk to and tend to be the same even as adults. In my experience, many of my co-workers and bosses have interesting tastes in music, films, books, and are ready to talk about anything political on a whim--they're super sociable and easy to get along with.
4. You can get movies and CDs for free (and legally).
One thing that’s always blown my mind is the fact that you can grab movies and CDs to enjoy in your library, for free. Unlike Netflix or illegal streaming websites that fill your computers with viruses, libraries provide easy access to entertainment that many people overlook.
5. Library memberships are free.
Library membership — AKA having a library card or student ID — is free at most public libraries, and there’s no age restriction. You suddenly have access to hundreds — possibly thousands — of books and movies, computers, CDs, legal documents and much more for the low cost of $0.
6. Libraries are some of the oldest institutions still used today.
The first library, as you might know, was the Library of Alexandria, established in the 3rd century B.C.E. This means that libraries, next to government, are pretty much one of the oldest institutions still widely in use today. If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.
7. Most school libraries allow food.
Seriously, there’s no better feeling than having a pizza delivered to the library while you’re studying and being able to walk in—all eyes on you—as you hold your delicious pie. The fact that many campus libraries allow food only allows for easier studying and snacking.
8. Some school libraries are open 24 hours.
The library I work at is open 24 hours on weekdays. This means you can go study at 11 pm, take a nap between 1 and 3 am, get back to work around 4 am and still get to your 8 am on time. Convenience is everything.
9. They have many ideal study spots.
If you’ve ever been in a library (which I’m betting you have), you’ll notice all the various spots to study. Whether it’s small little cubicles, long tables, comfy chairs or designated/noise-cancelling study rooms, libraries provide all sorts of study spots that work for any person.
10. They’re a great place to take a nap.
Everything else aside, libraries are great for napping. They’re quiet, peaceful, warm and have comfy chairs and couches. There’s nowhere better to catch up on your sleep in between classes.
Whatever their use, libraries are quite handy for the college student, and anyone else that might visit one after reading this.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels