Lifelong education and the library at Alexandria
Learning never ends and my son is just figuring it out.
My son is 8 going on 9. He’s an avid reader. He loves the library and he loves to build buildings and he’s also into ancient history. So, it was natural that he would learn about the library at Alexandria and become a bit upset that someone burned it down a long long time ago!
And yes, I do think it is a sign of geekdom to still be upset about that. The burning of the library at Alexandria represented a loss of knowledge on a massive scale. And to those of us who love to learn, that’s tragic. Everything that was lost is something we no longer have the ability to learn.
Why does learning matter? Why care? Because learning is fun! It’s interesting. It keeps you interested in life and learning. In fact, life is learning. Stop learning, and you stop living. Maybe I’m being overly dramatic, but I don’t think so.
Whether you are playing sports or reading a book, you are learning. Your neurons are firing, building connections in your body and in your brain. This changing of your cells and patterns of how your body is constructed is how life is defined. We aren’t inert objects. We are alive. We change. We respirate and consume and learn.
As a Humanist, I am committed to lifelong learning. Not because I feel it’s going to help me in life, but because I like learning. And it turns out, learning changes how I think and how I feel about what I think. I never feel as alive as when I am learning something.
I realize the new library at Alexandria does not have the status or the collection that the old one did and really, in this day and age, we don’t really need a physical library as so much is being digitized. But, physical libraries are still important.
Libraries combine architecture, art and learning all in one place. In fact, I can write this right now as my hubby took my son to our local library. They are still repositories of knowledge, and places of learning and of contemplation.
As my family (me, my son and my hubby (who is also a geek)), discussed the other day – if the sun flares and wipes out all electronics on earth – we are going to need paper copy books! Otherwise, once again, knowledge will be lost.
Question? What is your favorite library (or rather – where) and why do you like it so much?