We all know the story. There’s a wardrobe in an old, run down house and one day during a game of hide-and-go-seek, a child discovers a fantastical world of talking animals and white witches inside it. Now imagine a room full of these magical wardrobes which lead into any world you can imagine. If you are like me, this seems pretty awesome and sadly fictional, but they exist and you most likely live quite close to one. I’m talking about libraries.
Now, I can hear the groans coming already. Most of us associate libraries with the long, drudgerous hours spent cramming for the midterm tomorrow, getting lost in the Dewey Decimal maze and the sound of silence (or maybe “sshhh!”).
But libraries are more than that. When else can you slay an evil, Parseltongue speaking wizard with a magic wand? Where else can you see a Glaucus atlanticus without professional guidance? And where can you be a biologist, a historian and a Greek demigod while at the same time just starting university? The best part is the package comes without unrealistic body ideals, hidden fees and aggravating advertisements (No! I don’t care that Popeyes has a new sandwich!).
Not only this, but libraries are one of the best places to meet friends. Would you rather go to the bar, get drunk, make a “friend” and forget that you even talked, or would you go to the library, bond over a book and maybe get a coffee together? I think the choice is obvious.
With libraries in Edmonton opening to the public again, albeit with limited freedom, I think it is only right to give a warm welcome back to this underappreciated service and privilege.