The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “libraries

How Our Libraries Opened My Eyes

Posted on December 3, 2017

It’s called epiretinal membrane disease and the implications seemed more than serious. A condition where a scar tissue-like membrane coats the retina at the back of the eye, the disease left me with only two options: major surgery on both eyes or continual decline of sight. I opted for the former, and the good professionals at the Ivey Eye Institute, following two major procedures, successfully removed both membranes, effectively stopping the disease. Nevertheless, my eyesight isn’t what it was and new challenges have emerged. The most serious has been the effect on my ability to read effectively. It hasn’t been easy. But as it has during so many other important occasions in my life, the London Public Library has guided me through difficult days.…

Keeping a Community’s Soul Intact

Posted on March 18, 2016

FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, LIBRARIES WERE LIKE CASTLES of private knowledge. Even then they contained thoughts and ideas that could be dangerous, forming part of the justification for invading armies to ransack and burn them to the ground. The reasoning was simple: destroy a culture’s collected memory and you can wipe out the culture itself. Except it didn’t work that way. Memories and acquired wisdom are dynamic things that, when called upon, still empower a citizenry even when their books are taken away. And almost immediately they begin building places of knowledge again. For that very reason libraries have to be permeable, fluid things. Civilizations ebb and flow, and as long as enlightenment and knowledge are essential to progress libraries will be found at the…

For Libraries, It’s Their Time

Posted on April 21, 2015

  LOOKING BACK ON A LIFE THAT HAD FAR more twists and turns than most of us could endure, Lemony Snicket considered one aspect of his journey that provided him solace: “A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up reading them.” To that list could be added the extra dimensions of viewing, listening, dialogue, and social media. It’s likely we know this already, yet in some of the most significant happenings of modern life – many of them tragic in nature – libraries having taken on the roles of consolers, citizen guardians, event educators, and, in some senses, emergency agencies. Some examples. Consider how Ferguson, Missouri’s,…

  

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