by Thadd Presley
I went to the library today looking for a new book to begin reading and I came across a book by Johnathan Kellerman titled “True Detectives.” I haven’t began reading it yet, but I’m hoping it will be a great book because he has many books and I’d like to find a new author to really sink my reading brain into. I feel like I’ve been writing so much lately that I have forgotten what it’s like to have a really good book to read.
With all that in my head, I came home and saw this meme on my facebook wall.
I thought about it for a while and it occurred to me that Librarians are not really generals at all. They are more priest-like and the head of a long and important line of The Illuminated. And being just that, Librarians have trained long and hard to reach their position. Yet, in modern times, many of the people who use the library don’t realize that the man or woman behind the desk who stamps the date in the back of the book, actually spent many years in college learning what is known as Library Science and many of our local librarians have earned the title of Library Science Masters.
Yes, there is prestige in being the librarian. There is honor and history and science behind these humble people of knowledge and we have not been taught to give them the respect they deserve. We are being systematically desensitized to the amazing achievement which is the library.
The first libraries existed over 8000 years ago! The Mesopotamians wrote on their history and ideas on clay tablets to preserve the knowledge they wanted to pass onto the world that followed. Thousands of these clay tablets have been discovered in the palaces and temples where they were stored and arranged long ago. These palaces and temples were the first real libraries.
The Egyptians wrote their knowledge on papyrus scrolls, which they also stored in palaces and temples. The most famous library in history was in Alexandria, built around 300 BC. It held nearly 700,000 scrolls.
The Romans planned the first system of public libraries and by the year 4 AD, wealthy citizens has began to build their own libraries. Suddenly, there was 28 libraries in Rome.
When the Christian Era began, libraries became part of the churches and monasteries. Monks read and copied books, so in that time many of the libraries were due to their hard work.
By the year 1400 the University of Oxford began to organize it’s library. It is still the largest University library in the world.
In 1850 the English Parliament created our current library system and it has grown into the institution that it is today.
Every word of knowledge, every definition, and fact ever known has been written in a book, so that future generations, and the current one as well, can find the knowledge they want to know.
And now, the internet has been invented, but without the words having first been gathered and arranged in books it would have been forgotten long before the internet age. It was these books and these people who made libraries possible that has shaped and re-shaped our world.
The librarian is not just the person who tells you that your book is over due. The librarian is the priest, the palace guard, the university head, and a monk all in one, because it is the librarian who holds the key to all the words, knowledge, and traditions the world has ever known.