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On Libraries : Build Them Like Churches

The unbelievers are numerous. The local government, the parents, the teachers, students. With all the available technology and rise of the internet, who needs books stuffed in rooms?

To build a decent library, you would need a politician to ‘ok’ an enormous amount of budget that can be otherwise be allocated to more “pressing” needs of the constituent. And then there’s a matter of maintaining such facilities and employing librarians. Librarians…who would want to employ librarians? Who would want to employ silent rebels who does nothing but read all day and arrange books on shelves? I tell you, it’s suspicious.

But libraries are not just rooms stuffed with books, where people ‘research’ or find reference. It is a space to baptise new ideas. It is a place where you are safe to confess what you are thinking. It is our communion with history. It is the marriage of community and the individual. The last sacrament of err, I could go on with my ‘church’ metaphor.

Alain de Botton, one of the most controversial philosopher of the freethinking community today argues in one of his books the need for re-educating the people through art, ceremonies and secular preaching of the virtues that can be found in the works of Shakespeare or that other literary giant who’s death we are commemorating today at World Book Day – Miguel de Cervantes.

If our souls need church – thus our minds need libraries, a quiet cave where our ideas and philosophies bounce off the walls. In one wall, there is an image of Neil Gaiman hunched and reading form a book – preaching- I mean reading to little boys and girls.

 

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Neil Gaiman, Patron Saint of Reading.

On the other wall, a quotation of the words of Doctor, the Tenth and it says, “You want weapons? We’re in a library, the best weapons in the world!”

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And books of all types on the shelves, on the floor, on top of desks and below desks – comics, classics, young adult, romance, horror, suspense, references, non fiction, science. Children and adults alike must be impressed of the awe and inspiration of these books as if they are appreciating the image of saints in agony, because these books contain the Passion of Humanity.

This is how we must build our libraries – with reverence and respect for the intellect of the people who would be drawn to it – future leaders, innovators, inventors, influencers and thinkers.

From This Reader who wishes to build a library in the future – Happy World Book Day!

This is The Manila Reader – I’m a ‘cross media’ writer/producer meaning I’m that animal that jumps from one platform to another. I’m a producer for tv in morning, a social media denizen in all the in-betweens and a reader by night – by midnight to be more precise. I live in Manila, Philippines!

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