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Been to the library lately?

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- Dixya Poudel

By definition, library is a room or building that houses a collection of books, newspapers, periodicals, documents and prints in physical or digital formats. Libraries offer books that are a source of knowledge, imagination, creativity and awe. A library is where the intellect merges with imagination. I have always thought of libraries as a sort of a sacred place, a sanctuary of knowledge.


A while ago, I listened to a BBC podcast where two librarians from different countries discussed the importance of the library and its impact on their respective societies. Both librarians were women; one was a librarian at a small, local library in Ghana while the other was a librarian at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, US. It was intriguing to listen to the two librarians gush about the importance of libraries. Both agreed that libraries were immensely essential to communities. These two librarians were from vastly different cultural backgrounds, yet they shared one agenda—to impart their love for books to their respective communities.


Libraries provide quiet places to study and conduct research. One can look at archived documents, newspapers and periodicals in digital format. And libraries offer a wide selection of books at a small cost, often with a discount for students. When moving to new cities, I am always on the lookout for libraries. In school, the library was my favourite place to be. I have spent many quiet hours in the library soaking up the solitude and the silence. Upon entering the library, one becomes instantly aware of the stillness and the quiet that is only punctuated by the rustle of turning pages. Avid readers will agree with me when I say that books tell us stories, real and imagined, that extend our imagination and knowledge. What better place to immerse ourselves in a bookish world than in a library?


There are a number of public libraries in Kathmandu where I am currently living. These libraries are often crowded with eager readers immersed in reading newspapers, magazines and books. I am glad to see readers from all ages visiting the library. Reading widely and across all genres is important. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading, and I am pleased to see that the reading culture has been budding in Nepal.


Library is a space to acquire a wide range of information and resources. Not only do libraries impart knowledge, they also encourage children and adults to read widely and become imaginative and curious. Libraries help societies to achieve a higher literacy rate. And an educated society is the ideal society. Written words are empowering that last throughout our life and posterity. Let us visit libraries and be ardent learners throughout our lives.

Published: 2018-08-09 08:15:13