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The Magic of a Library

One place you can depend on even in difficult financial times is the library. You don't need a penny in your pocket to spend time with the greatest minds in the history of human thought.

As a child, I loved books and, by extension, libraries.

My favorite fantasy was that every night, when the library doors were locked, the covers of the books were magically unlocked and the people who inhabited their pages stepped out, free to befriend and bedevil one another. 

Characters mingled across time and space with other characters and shared new, even more exciting, adventures. Shamelessly, I spied on them and eavesdropped on their conversations.

Imagine a chat between Joe March and Nancy Drew. What would Tom Sawyer say to Little Lord Fauntleroy? These people were my friends, as real to me as any of my classmates. I told them secrets and shared dreams I knew no one else would understand.

I still love libraries and I still see them as places of magical adventure, but now I understand that they are so much more.

I'm not sure when the concept of a library first occurred to mankind, but I know that the history of libraries goes back to at least 1200 BC, to the ancient port city of Ugarit in Syria.

What a concept a library is! Think about it - the decision to establish a place to collect and organize all recorded knowledge. Could anything be more ambitious? More noble? More valuable?

And they're free. You don't need a penny in your pocket to be endlessly entertained or, if your aim is more serious, to be enlightened by the greatest minds in the history of human thought.

You can go into a library and find a book about any subject you want. If you don't know what you want, all you have to do is ask. There's sure to be someone around to direct you to a book that will at least get you started on whatever path you want to explore.

We're lucky in Bucks County to have a fine library system: seven branches, located in Doylestown, Levittown, Bensalem, Quakertown, Langhorne, Perkasie, and Yardley.

Besides these, there are community public libraries, located throughout the county, so no matter where you live, you're near a library.

In addition to the astonishing number of books and other materials on the shelves, libraries offer programs to groups of all ages and for every imaginable interest. 

But don't take my word for it. Visit a library or check one out online at http://www.buckslib.org 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Maria Evans January 08, 2013 at 01:39 PM
One of the most awe-inspiring places I ever went was the Library of Congess. A spiritual event! Great food for thought, Sandy!
Leslie Dunleavy January 08, 2013 at 02:55 PM
The library is the best deal around! Thousands of books and informational sources (as well as programs for children and adults), including access to databases, lending of e-books and e-audiobooks, all available free with your public library card! Newtown is served by the Yardley-Makefield Branch Library, just a few minutes away in Yardley ... and recently renovated. They have lots of programs for adults and children, and a great collection of materials, written and visual. Check it out!!
Sandra Cody January 08, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Maria, I've never been to the Library of Congress. It's on my bucket list. Don't think I've been in the Yardley-Makefield Library either, Leslie. (I live in Doylestown.) I'll have to add it to the list. Thanks for the comments, both of you.
Janice Cope January 08, 2013 at 05:49 PM
For people who don't know yet, the Doylestown Library also offers Overdrive audio and e-books. Audio books have been the perfect companion for a long drive and e-books have given me new materials without having to leave the house.
Sandra Cody January 08, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Libraries are now offering services that were unheard of just a few years ago. Kudos to them for keeping up with the rapidly-changing world of publishing.
Wilma Fingerdoo January 09, 2013 at 12:31 AM
For school age kids, setting up an online library account and placing holds for requested (reading list) books is a huge savings (both time and money). The Bucks Library system rocks! Their inventory of materials is second to none. I continue to be amazed when my kids request a book (newly released) and can pick it up within days of the request. The movies and games available at the Doylestown library are incredible. The staff is always friendly and helpful. We love this library!
Jeff Lugar January 09, 2013 at 12:18 PM
In the mid eighties, my best friend at the time and I would meet Saturdays at the library when it was wedged between Shewell and Main, sign up for back-to-back computer use times, and play Wizardry as we had the game, but neither of us had an Apple IIe.
Sandra Cody January 09, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Thanks, Wilma and Jeff, for mentioning more great opportunities offered by our library.
Ken January 11, 2013 at 08:49 PM
AGREED...Library are a great resource for ALL....The Village Library of Wrightstown offers services seven days a week, including large library programming and services, with a quaint small library feel.
What about the Warminster Twp. Free Library? You forgot to include it in the Bucks Co. system. Also, the Friends of Warminster Library are holding a CRAFT FAIR, SATURDAY, JUNE 22nd from 10:30 to 3:30. Come out and enjoy the fun, food and crafts.

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