On the Pleasure of Libraries as a Place
Hello, this is Erik Sean Estep. I’m one of the new bloggers here. I’ve been a librarian for over ten years and I’m currently the Social Sciences Librarian at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
I’m honored to be a contributor because I think that this is one of the most intellectually compelling blogs in our field. Many times, this space has caused me to think more deeply and philosophically about library and information science issues. I hope to continue that tradition. For my first post, I’d like to draw attention to one of the best things I’ve read about the wonders of the library.
A nostalgic piece about going to the library as a young man is in one of the recent issues of The London Review of Books. Alan Bennett is one of England’s great writers and he elegantly gets at the tactile joys of going to the library without resorting to the sentimentality of pining for a lost world. Bennett is a true Renaissance Man and you get the sense that his inspiration came from going to the library. He was raised in a working class family and the library was his gateway to a wider life of the mind. Sometimes it takes an outsider to bring to our attention the important work that we do and the value we bring to our society.