Palaces for the People

Among the myriad things that I miss amidst a pandemic, the one that stuck out in my mind clearest today was libraries.
I feel like they are buildings we don’t think enough about – centers for community, learning, education, entertainment – and do not utilize in any way to the fullest. I have many a fond memory walking through library aisles, choosing books based solely on the spine and stacking DVDs into my open arms. The smell of the quieter second floor, full of the learned silence that grows alongside rows of non-fiction, stretching to the ceilings and back.

I miss the library – especially in a season when I’ve begun to more fully appreciate the beauty of books and pages, and a space built to appreciate them.

There is a wonderful podcast episode on 99% Invisible, based on a book called Palaces for the Peoplewhich I’ve regretfully neglected to read as of yet – talking about the importance of libraries in communities and societies, and the ability they have to lift up individuals. I highly recommend it.

In honor of my sentimental reflections on libraries today, I plucked a book from a Little Free Library on my walk through Milwaukee today. After bringing home, I tore out a page at random and created a blackout poem (ala Austin Kleon). It has nothing to do with the subject above, but here it is.

That’s all for today – I’m excited to go to libraries again. This time more intentionally than before.

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