Did you just flash back to your 3rd grade classroom?
You may have guessed that I’m an avid reader. There are boxes of books in my garage , a crammed Kindle bookshelf, and when I can hold the materials:I listen to Audible or books on tape. I am a junkie. My keyring has fobs from the Arcadua, Burbank, County of Los Angeles and Los Angeles City Libraries. I am super thankful to have a Lifeproof case on my Samsung so I can read in the bath since the contents and instructions of all my bath products are all but memorized.
My childhood was spent in public schools where I received a world class educat. The Arcadia Unified School District doesn’t mess around (although please keep me from ranting about the current and recent Superintendents). Even a rudimentary education is worth gold if it teaches decoding and reading well enough to make a book a pleasure trip. Reading was not an easy trick to learn and my spelling is , um, interpretive . Now that I have mastered the devouring of words -I understand their power.
Why am I posting this on a site dedicated to poverty issues?
Library cards are free. Having millions of dollars gives you no better selection of reading materials than someone carrying only the change they found in the parking lot.
Public Libraries are a great equalizer.
A good public library can change a life. It holds the instructions to reading and information on every topic. The stacks hold the static equivalent of the Internet without the snide comments section or porn collections.
It also offers escape. Books are portals into the minds of other people, into locations the reader might never visit in person and into idea landscapes that would swallow us whole without the author to lead us home again.
It is no mystery as to why so many homeless folks find their way to the library. There are chairs and protection from the elements, and accessable indoor bathrooms, use of the Internet and books. The Burbank Library even has literacy tutors who teach adults to read.
Words have the power to change the world…or overthrow and control the political system. There us a reason many countries don’t educate their citizens and expressly forbid females to learn written language.
Hitler never used a gun in his rise to power. He used words. He wrote a book. I read that book in Junior High, it was a copy brought from Germany.
Lincoln, the first Republican President, was like generations before him. He learned to read in school and then continued his education by lamplight , learning from books. Then Lincoln used his words to change the world.
Read a book. Support your local library.
Change the world.