Where the rare things are

In this incredible world of movement and change and the mind-stretching opportunities that new technology brings to us, we can often be left standing in the awe of too many choices; the wonder of what is coming next. Craving the new. Still, there is the steady world of libraries that continues to deepen and hold space for what is now, what is then, and what is to be. Libraries discover and describe our world–the historic world and the now, the present and the rare.  When I lived and worked in Boulder, Colorado, I met so many academic librarians, many whom worked to acquire, protect and share rare volumes. Eye-and-mind opening. At the time I was doing so much work to update, reimagine and build contemporary approaches to service. This work is important, and still is. The work of securing historic volumes, art and realia of the years that came before us is important work as well. There is something settling (and often unsettling) at looking at pieces of the past. Libraries, like museums, keep us aware, giving our lives and times context. In this time of pandemic, these actions still hold true. It helps us to look forward as well as backward, for context and understanding. Libraries are still holding this charge. Visit the websites of small or large libraries and you’ll see this commitment still alive. Libraries remind us of who we were, who we are and who we can become. A rare, and valuable offering.

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