Since the first group of cave dwellers, there have been story tellers. A great deal of human history was passed on by librarian-types, those who wanted to share survival tactics, knowledge, and history.
In recent years, some people have said that libraries are no longer necessary because we have technology at our fingertips with our “smart phones”—iPhone, Android, etc., with which we can do research, but nothing can take the place of the enthusiasm of a great librarian.
Years ago, I went into the library and never looked back. My first job ever was a page (a job which entails shelving and retrieving library materials and even circulating materials) in my local branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in East Baltimore. I shelved books and magazines daily and gladly while in high school. I fell in love with reading. With a book or magazine, my imagination was able to travel warp-speed to other people’s lives, investigate dangerous places and situations, and fantasize safely.
I worked in a library for the next 30 years from the time before Baltimore Junior College became Baltimore City Community College—from student worker to secretary to circulation technician. I loaned books, magazines, rooms for meetings, and computers to our college population. Even some community members were provided limited library services as well.
After that, I worked at the Johns Hopkins University Press as a Permissions/Office Assistant for a short time where I had the pleasure of handling and reading books and professional journals, as well as copyrighting the same. I also got a chance to work with authors which was a thrill!
Now, I’m an author (see my website at https://nervikularose.com). In the past year, I joined a book club, Woodlawn Page Turners, for which I have read a book a month. We are reading Jodie Picoult’s book Small Great Things for June, but we will be off-site discussing it over great food. I will be writing a review of that book for my blog (https://nervikularose.wordpress.com).
To this day, I am more likely to have a book or journal in my hands rather than using my phone or laptop to read a book. I use an audio book only when the physical book is not available or when I’ll be doing a lot of driving. It was great hearing Ta-Nehisi Coates, a former Woodlawn High School graduate, reading his own audio book, Between the World and Me, to me. It would make a great book assignment for high school students as it was written to his teenage son.
And, let’s not forget the TNT television show, The Librarians, in which an ensemble of librarians live out the adventures we can only imagine.
Libraries today are staying in the thick of things, providing computers for typing papers and game play, conducting classes and workshops, having speakers, providing musical entertainment for all ages, etc. Visit your local library especially if you’ve never been to one in your life and not just for the computer games!
Written by Rosa L. Griffin