Top floor of the library. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)
Top floor of the Stewart Library. Weber State’s library offers free Wi-Fi, computer access and quiet study areas. (Lichelle Jenkins/ The Signpost)

Libraries. To some the word brings childhood memories of reading and the smell of a new book. Yet to others, it seems unfamiliar, insignificant and outdated.

We’d like to make the case that libraries are, in fact, still important and completely relevant to today’s life. Why? We’ll tell you.

1)      For the obvious reasons, it promotes reading. This can pose a serious problem to school-age kids just learning to read in the age of video games. Since convincing them to reach their daily dosage of reading each day can be hard enough, libraries lessen that load by providing a gigantic variety of book s to choose from. Beyond that, most also have a hefty collection of magazines, newspapers, audio books, movies and music.

2)      The almost unlimited amount of resources libraries possess and provide is mind-blowing. Yes, they have the traditional books, but modern day institutions have expanded to so much more. Need a job? They have career readiness workshops for you.  Need a resume? They’ve got classes for that and even a printer to get you ready to go. For those tired parents out there, most local libraries have kids programs to keep them distracted and learning while you watch. Story times are also a popular attraction for kids.

3)      Contrary to popular belief, not everything can be found online. Are you telling me every single book ever printed is now accessible from the internet? Not buying it. They may be working on that, but at the moment, libraries provide a pretty full set of what you need for general research purposes. Be a smarty and take advantage of both sides – check online for help as well as taking a trip to the library. Something to be aware of, though, is that not all online sources are credible. Non-fiction books have been reviewed and reviewed and reviewed by editors and publishers, which should make most of them trustworthy, but internet articles may have unchecked facts.

4)      Also related to the internet, web pages may be difficult to navigate. Some might not be well organized and all they look for is matching keywords. Having a librarian present in person presents someone who has valuable experience with these books. They have read many of them and being familiar with the others, they can offer personal recommendations of new reads for you.

5)      Last but not least, you are always welcome at the library (well . . . during open hours and as long as you haven’t offended them in any way). The free Wi-Fi, computers and space available are there just for you. Take advantage of it! The quiet areas are perfect for studying or tutoring someone else – if you come across a problem, all the resources to solve it are right next to you.

Think twice before you walk right past the library. It can’t hurt to enter and take a quick spin around, and it won’t cost you a dime. Check out a book, sit down for a minute or just flip through a magazine.


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