Love Letter To Libraries

Dear Reader,

I recently came across a post on Twitter where someone wanted something like a library but cooler, more hipster. A place with book related events, a coffee shop and the ability to pay and rent books. This person wanted a library but without the “free” stuff because that would mean that people without any means would not be able to attend such places. Apparently it is not cool to attend places that have free cultural services. It’s not cool to have people with little to no money around. It doesn’t give you the likes and followers on social media. Yes…what a sad thing. Well let me tell you my experience and why libraries are SO IMPORTANT!

I didn’t get a computer until I was like twenty one/twenty two years old. I remember being at drama school when I got my first laptop (that I payed for in instalments over a year). “How did you get anything done?” I hear you ask…

One word: Library

In my city, Porto, there’s a park that I’ve always loved to go to. Enjoying walks, writing gothic inspired poetry ( yeah…I was going through a phase), and dreaming. This park has a gorgeous library that I used to go to on a regular basis. It’s quite modern, even today, with big lights and windows. When I was a teenager, until I was in my twenties, it was my favourite place and the only way I could access the internet and do my homework. I spent whole afternoons there. I remember that I used to leave with 4 books to take home to read (that was the maximum amount you were allowed to take), spent sometimes 3 hours on the internet just finding information. Have you ever felt that tingly sensation when you stand up and go around trying to find books about a specific theme and it’s like you’re this scientist or professor about to uncover some deep secret? You feel special, motivated, without distractions. That’s what the library was for me. A safe space, a place where I could just go and be safe from the rain and cold and not having to pay for coffee or food. Or running around town trying to find a bathroom. In a library you can just be there for hours and no one will judge you or charge you just for existing there.

I don’t need libraries today in the same way I did back then, but someone just might. Today I may go to a library just to have that feeling again or…I might just not have enough money to go to my regular cafe. If you can take a day and visit your local library, help them if you can, try to engage in their activities. I promise you that you will feel different, better, happier even. Some of them even have great Comic Book collections and have great events like the one at the Barbican in London. And don’t feel bad because you don’t have the means to go somewhere else. They exist to make you feel welcome, to promote culture and you will never be judged for enjoying that.

See you there!