Listen to the Pgh Dreamer’s Pod: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/meghan-greenwood/episodes/The-Beauty-of-a-Library-e2fmdvp
As I walked around the campus, I was enthralled by the calm beauty of each corner. People gathering on the yard to share in a discussion circle, a few couples sitting on the benches, and tourists like me stopping to take photos in front of iconic buildings – one of which was especially captivating, The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library, Harvard University’s flagship library.
Growing up, I felt safe in a book. Reading was a way to escape to new places and find comfort knowing that there were no expectations of me within the story. I also put a lot of emphasis on finishing a book (I am a total completist) and reading a LOT of books. I was in ‘Reading Challenge’ mode well before GoodReads existed!
Therefore, to me, a library is such a special place. A community gem filled to the brim with wonderous ideas and exciting journeys just waiting to be taken. A section full of limitless plots and arcs, with a whole other section devoted toward continuing education. You can literally go from fighting monsters in the dark vaults to understanding how your gut microbiome contributes to brain health – all within 4 walls!
And the importance of a library goes way beyond books. With a wide variety of other targeted programming, it is a haven for children of all ages to feel seen and acknowledged. It is also a staple for helping adults strive for their next career and socialize with other like-minded individuals. Funding for libraries is essential and will forever be a worthy issue in my orbit. I actually serve on my local library’s board to help with fundraising and volunteerism.
So as I was approaching the steps of the Harvard Library, I couldn’t help but geek out and ask my husband to snap my photo. Even though I wasn’t allowed inside without a student ID, I was able to imagine what opportunities the inside could bring, how flipping through the pages could transform my mood, my goals, my life. And I have books to thank for that.