ASSOCIATES (2007, November, v. 14, no. 2)


Just a Note of Thanks

Gregory Stokes, II

Everyone wants to know how well they’re doing, how they can improve what they do, and if what they’re doing is making a difference. I’m a recent high school graduate and I’m here to say that, despite being a child of the information age, and being somewhat proficient at using a computer and surfing the Internet, I wouldn’t have done as well as I did in school without the help of library staff. Sure, the internet is fast and chock full of great stuff, and if you want to find something you simply type in keywords and there it is. But what if you’re looking for someone or something very specific? Maybe you have a question about what you’re looking for, how do you get your answer? You input the keywords for your search and what do you get? Approximately 900,000,000 search results. So now you have to click and choose on all the links until you find one that is what you want. Guess you didn’t know that many Will Smiths existed, huh? Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not going through that many pages just to find just one thing. And that’s where your friendly neighborhood or school library comes to the rescue.

The library makes the search easier. Believe me when I say just walking to the library can make a whole lot of difference because if you can’t find something, just knowing that there’s someone around to help you out is a big plus. And now even libraries are entering the technology era, with computers designed specifically for searching books, people, etc. So you walk into the library and you see thousands of books and you think, “I could have done this at home.” True, but in the library when looking for a specific author that is not that well known or lives in another country, your results may not be in the nine million range. Your results just might be zero. In fact, just by using the libraries search engine you could find the author, their bio, and the book in about two minutes. And if that doesn’t work, just look around for someone to help you. It’s been my experience that library workers want to help. I mean, like, isn’t that why they’re there? Personally, I like it that way, but then I know people (sometimes I’m one of them) who need to read a book but just can’t stay awake. That is fine because libraries have books on CD as well, a lot better than trying to download massive files, or copying and pasting what you are only going to delete later.

Now don’t get me wrong, I probably wouldn’t cease to exist without my personal computer. But I still enjoy reading peacefully at the library and also just seeing other people doing what I’m doing is relaxing. Before I graduated from high school I had plenty of research assignments that were designed to make the students use the library. I used to dread doing them, but after going to the library more and more, I found myself checking out more books than I needed. With almost everything on paper in a library, I didn’t need to worry about the book crashing, or a blackout and not being able to access the book. Even in a blackout the library would still be useful if I just have to finish my work. Of course let us not forget those who work behind the scenes and make it all possible, the people known as librarians. Most of us probably don’t even realize it but when we don’t know where to look for a certain book, they can tell just from looking at us, and in an instant they show us where the book is or put it on order for us. It is because of them the library is such an enjoyable place to be, and it was more enjoyable for me while I was working with them.

Even now, months after graduation, I still find myself going to the library to check out some old science fiction novels that can’t be found anywhere else. I’ve found tons of books that went out of print years ago that only the library now has. So far, all my experiences in a library have, well, been nothing but good. I personally get distracted at home while doing home assignments online. But the library allows me to focus and think very clearly since that is what it is for anyway. The way libraries operate can even motivate almost anyone to finish work faster than at home due to the lack of distractions from IMs, email, and wanting to play online games with friends once you see that they are online. The quiet environment is very suitable, since you are around a lot of people but at the same time you can forget they are there.

I think I’ll end my ramblings with what I started out to say: “Thank you for all of your help and keep up the good work.”