I love the new technology in libraries these days: I love that I can slide my returned book onto a conveyor belt, it will scan it and log it back into the system and tell me my book is returned without me having to worry if it will be snatched off the counter while waiting to be attended or utterly lost for whatever reason. I love that I can collect all my books off the shelves and then scan them in myself without having to wait in a long line for someone else to do it for me. I love that I can search books from other libraries in my district and have them sent to my library where I can pick them up at my convenience.
My local library, with all its new technologies and conveniences does not have a lot of books. In fact, it is missing quite a few books including (but not limited to) classics such as The Count of Monte Cristo. It's rare that I can walk into my local library with a book on my mind and find it there. So I must use my computer to locate it in another library and have it sent to me. Which is fine. But my district is also not known for its wealth of books.
This is distressing to me.
I use to spend hours — HOURS — in the library as a young adult searching for and FINDING the books I was after. I slowly walked up and down the aisles with my finger gliding along the spines of those glossy creatures until I found the one I was looking for.
And the miracle of the library is not only finding the book you wanted, but looking at the surrounding books, or perhaps the books you glanced over on your way to your treasure and finding something you never considered reading before, or even ever heard of.
I don't need to go into the indulgent aroma of the stacks of books accumulated over time, or the deadening silence that allows your thoughts to shout, scream and be heard. We all know we love this about libraries.
As a person who loves books — not only loves them, but depends on them in a strange sort of escapist dreamy way — I feel let down by my city and our district for having such a limited amount of books on hand. The library is a place that I like to go to release my thoughts and relax, in a way. The library is all the worlds ever thought up that can take us away from this present one just for a little bit.
If libraries ever become extinct, I don't know what I'll do.