Garfield Senior High School

Opinion: The Greatest Place Ever: The Library

There is only one place where I feel comfortable in my own skin: the library.

The thousands of books that surround me each time I enter this establishment make it feel like a home to me. It may be a rarity among people my age to enjoy spending time surrounded by books, but the library is what life is really all about, that is, if you bother to look closer than what’s on the surface.

Earth’s first written language dates back to around 3000 BCE with the Sumerian civilization living in southern Mesopotamia. Today, there are around 6,500 languages written and spoken around the world.

Within the time that humans have been alive, language has evolved and grown along with civilization. As seen in history, with language comes understanding and knowledge. This new knowledge must be written down somewhere, whether it be on a papyrus scroll or on a word document.

Once it’s written down, this knowledge must be protected and has to be stored somewhere, right? This is where libraries come in.

One of the oldest public libraries, famously burnt-down by the Romans in their conquest of the Mediterranean, is the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Created by Ptolemy I Soter around 300 BCE, this library held a vast amount of information about the world during the time that it existed.

This is just one of the reasons that I love the library. Books that were read 100, 200, even 300 years ago are still accessible through the library.

One of my favorite things to do is to just grab a random encyclopedia – kind of like a written version of the internet – flip to a random page and start reading. Although impractical, it makes my day to learn random facts about the world without staring at a screen.

Besides knowledge, there is something that many forget can be found at the library: the magic of stories. Ever since I was a little, I remember being extremely fascinated by the never ending pile of colorful picture books that my brothers read to me. I remember the enchanted feeling of letting my imagination run wild by immersing myself in a story.

Words strung together by an author creates characters and stories that become real to their readers. Sometimes these stories are so real that movies are made and in today’s world, with the use of advanced technology, it’s easier than ever to make these stories come alive.

Therefore, without books, there aren’t any good movies. Seriously, most great movies have some kind of basis in a book or something that has been created on paper first.

Marvel Studios, probably the biggest powerhouse in the movie industry, started off as comic books. Countless stories in various types of formats, including comics, can be found in the library and that’s pretty amazing.

There are plenty of other reasons why the library is the best place ever, but I need to get back to reading. So, the next time you pass by the library, go inside and experience the fascinating wonders that it offers to you. Happy reading!