Finding Magic in a Library

Greetings.  They are almost forgotten in this era of instant information that is driven right to our desks, PDAs, or phones.  In fact, we probably walk or drive by at least one library every day without giving it a second thought.  In a time when professionals in so many fields are satisfied with brief snippets of information, and students are allowed to do most of their research on line, we seem to have less use for them.  After all, it's a Wikipedia world–not that this brilliant idea isn't a valuable tool.  And a growing number of avid readers are now downloading books, MP3 files, and a host of other information onto their Kindles or other "reading" devices.  Again, very clever and valuable tools for people on the go who don't want to be weighed down by a bunch of hard copy.  

No, the sad truth is that we all seem way too busy to pause long enough to visit a library and read, relax, explore, and learn.  To discover today's genius and the genius of every generation before us.  To walk in without a destination in mind, only to be captivated by a book, or a magazine, or a film that we never anticipated or planned to find–but one with the power to transport us to a different world filled with new ideas, inspiration, and possibilities.  Libraries are places filled with magic, and as we race to forget that essential fact we lose a unique and wonderful opportunity to unlock our individual and collective curiosity and genius.  Curiosity and genius that could help us to be more remarkable at work, in our civic lives, or at anything worth doing. 

So this weekend, or any weekend when you aren't so overscheduled and overwhelmed, find an hour or two to visit a library near you.  It doesn't have to be the Library of Congress–though just walking in there makes me feel smarter and more inspired.  Or the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt, founded in the year 228 B.C. and a place where brilliant thinkers like Eratosthenes and Euclid use to hang out.  Or the the Yunju Temple in China that dates back to the 7th Century.  Or the British Library in London.  Or the New York Public Library. Any library will do.  Just as long as you commit to wandering the aisles, exploring the new and old book corners, and giving yourself the freedom to be taken on a journey to discover new places, perspectives, questions, and answers.


We have the greatest chance to reach our potential as people, organizations, and communities when we open our eyes to rediscover the wonder of learning.  Maybe your remarkable story will be written in even more compelling ways by a visit around the corner.

Cheers and have a magical weekend!