Why Library? by Caylie Jeffery
We share so much of our space with so many people in our busy lives that rarely are we able to locate a place where we can achieve a sense of peace. Somewhere where we can slow down and walk softly, ensconcing ourselves in the silence and solitude we need to regroup.
The word library always comes to me in a whisper. I know that wherever I am in the world, there is a place I can go in order to ignite my senses, open my mind and rest my soul.
Many years ago, I walked through the ethereal halls of Cambridge University. Vivaldi's Four Seasons was playing softly in the antechamber leading into the library, and when I walked through the doors, I truly thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
Upon seeing the film City of Angels, I was captivated by the concept that angels are often found in libraries. It made complete sense to me because I've always thought that if there was an afterlife, it would be inside a library. That’s where I’d want to be.
To run my curious hands along the rows of books, feeling their smooth spines and wondering which one will jump out at me, begging me to read it...
To have the scent of printers' ink and ageing paper fill my nostrils as soon as I walked through the doors...
To see a plethora of rainbow colours filled with opportunities and possibilities...
To hear the sounds of silence as I walk into a room - the faint rustle of pages being turned, the gentle swish of books being replaced on shelves, the softened rubber stamping by the stern librarian checking in overdue books. Even the beautifully worn wooden drawers holding the reference cards used to give me a sense of order and quietude.
My children are now being introduced to libraries - the school library is a pivotal place where a whole new world is opened up to them. Libraries will give them permission to disappear from an often troubled world into a fantasy land, filled with wonder and delight. Librarians will provide them with opportunities to walk in places that only exist in the pages of a story.
Libraries give our senses a chance to blossom, to open up our imaginations and to meet new people... I met the first true friends in my life in a library- the characters in my favourite books, who still walk beside me today.
But for how long will these magnificent institutions be with us? Technology seems to be choking their future. E-books are opening up a new way of reading, where people can access books on a machine from anywhere they happen to be.
But it’s not just about the books, is it?
It’s about the senses. It’s about the space. It’s about the peace.
I wonder what the word "Library" ignites in you.
Even more importantly, what does a world without libraries mean to you?
The State Library of Queensland wants to engage with you about the Library of the Future...
Enter the Why Library competition by clicking on this link. Describe libraries of the future – submit an entry of up to 200 words for your chance to win an iPad mini.
Libraries are no longer buildings that just house books. They have been changing to meet the needs of their communities. We invite you to submit a written entry of up to 200 words based on the theme the library of the future. Write about what you want to the library of the future to be or what you would like the library to include or look like. Your submission could be a story, a poem, song lyrics, or a haiku. Let your imagination be your guide.
Caylie Jeffery started out life as a Nurse and Counsellor, but after a close call with London terrorists, she took a fresh view of the world and sailed around it for two years with her husband. She now live in Brisbane with her family, who keep her on her toes but give her lots to write about!
Caylie's many adventures and experiences have made her into a strong, observant and interested woman and she uses Familial Essays on her Blog, Distractions of a Busy Mother, to connect with the greater community. She works as a freelance writer for a number of publications, and is an emerging author of YA literary fiction.
When she's not writing, Caylie renovates, paints pictures, and cares for her family. She has a wonderful circle of extraordinary friends who encourage and support her relentlessly and a growing number of followers to whom she is eternally grateful to for their readership and insight.
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