Libraries are sanctuaries


Julianna Jalbett

The media center at OFHS is open for book check-out, research, and printing needs. It’s even open at lunch most days.

Julieanna Jalbert, Guest Writer


Life-changing innovations of society. When this topic is brought up, some might think of flying cars and banning plastic. However, the real advantage is down the block. That is where the library can be found, a building that should be in every community. For many around the world, the library is a sanctuary. The Journal of College Teaching and Learning cites an important study of more than 200 students that showed how recreational reading reduced stress levels. According to the authors of the study, “Recreational reading seemed to buffer against the frustration of one’s basic psychological needs.” Every day, adolescents go home to fighting parents, chaotic siblings, neglected housework, and pounds of homework. In this case, the library is a place where children can go to get some peace of mind, whether that includes reading a book, browsing the isles, or more. Equally as important, USA Reads, “a national initiative of the World Literacy Foundation striving to close the literacy and reading gap”, states that “61%” of children who come from “low-income” families lack access to books. The logical conclusion is to have libraries in the community. Thus, the children in these families can not only have access to books, but also the internet and a quiet study place. Someone on the opposing side of the argument would say that not many teens go to the library. Admittedly, today’s youth see trips to the library as inconsequential. However, adding libraries to a community encourages kids to visit, as people are more likely to explore places if they are in better reach. We shouldn’t be pushing an incredibly beneficial site away because they are unused by some, instead we should encourage people to visit them. These are the reasons that the library is a safety net to many around the world. For the sake of society, it is necessary to recognize that libraries are crucial to the future of America. According to the International Journal of Teaching and Education, libraries give “lifelong” learning opportunities and allow for self-governed education. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and if we want America to be in good shape then we should be sure that they are educated. To continue, The Wayland Free Public Library in Massachusetts proves that libraries improve the economy. The income brought in by libraries can help America pay for projects that further advance humankind. Some would say that there are other places that provide more for the future of America, and those projects should be prioritized instead of libraries. However, the resources that libraries provide are too great to be undermined. These are the factors that demonstrate how big of an impact having libraries in a community can have on the state of our nation. The number of libraries in every community should be increased. This is because reading increases the functionality of your brain. According to the National Library of Medicine, reading uses many parts of the brain in a repetitive form, which over time can strengthen these regions and increase cognitive function. Libraries contain a world full of eligible books to choose from. As a result, if you expand the number of libraries in every community, you are escalating the brain power of the citizens in that community.