Language and Literature
December 6, 2016
Literature, Oppression, and Libraries
American Library Association (ALA), Founded October 6, 1876. 1936. Chicago, Illinois, United States.
Libraries are the birthplace of literature and the sustenance of literacy and enlightenment. To dismiss the importance of these locals is not only to strip a community of the limitless knowledge which libraries provide, but it is to abolish free thinking and promote abridgment and censorship. However, a country whose majority of a population is living in poverty, absence of governmental interest in public education, or the lack of public aspiration to read is all causes for the destruction and faulty maintenance of libraries and other educational centers. The destruction of public libraries impedes access to; the creation of an enlightened and intellectual population and no possibility to study for better job opportunities, recreational reading is not available to the general public and neither is understanding of global culture and literature, finally the lack of libraries brings upon stunted growth within educational standard and lost works of literature. Thankfully organizations like the ALA which advocate for readers and their rights.
Libraries allow the spread of an enlightened and intellectual population which is able to utilize their knowledge to their personal advantages such as finding a better paying job or as a possibility to culminate their studies. However, with the eradication of libraries the possibility for citizens in underdeveloped countries such as Panama to obtain a higher paying job is nearly nonexistent; and according to a 2011 UN study “65% of Panamanian students drop out during/before the first year of high school”. Libraries provide free access to Wifi and textbooks two essentials tools for the acquisition of a new carrier or for the completion of a high school or university class which can determine the future of an individual. It is the fundamental knowledge and flexibility that libraries provide to communities that can improve the life of a single individual in unparalleled ways.
A lack of publicly available books for both rental and selling has lead to a huge decline in recreational reading and the exploration of international literature and cultures. Through libraries, entire communities can enjoy the life of an everyday citizen in a twisted and reprimanded the world (Dystopia), or the backroom politics which decide the future of mankind (Political Drama), yet this has been completed neglected in Panama. With only one public library and the prices in bookstores being too expensive, the average Panama will never find the need or the money to buy a book of any kind in the near future except for studies. With a lack of interest in recreational reading, a small slither of hope still remains as the curiosity for the unknown and exotic thrives above all else. However, due to the lack of locals such as public libraries (FREE), there is no way for citizens to nourish their curiosity, so as time passes the only literate experience by locals is the one created within their country. As wisely said by Carl Sagan “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” A country is starved of foreign literature and cultural knowledge they are aware of only their reality and not the universe within a book’s pages.
The halted construction of libraries and the improvements of other educational centers has lead to the decrease in educational standards across the country of Panama; as students are not able to check out new and up to date books anywhere. Students are forced to utilize the older version of textbooks which have been proven to be outdated and lead to miss-information. As educational standards, drop and investments towards education and improvements towards centers such as libraries and overall education in maths, sciences, arts and others have disappeared. Libraries are what sustain the standardized levels of education within a country as they provide the tools needed for students to achieve their goals during their class. Furthermore, as libraries disappear so do the works of literature which can be exclusives to the library due to the lack of international publishing within a country. Libraries protect the standards of education within a nation by providing students with higher grade material than the one which can be provided by their schools or other sources.
The value of a library is only comparable to what is within it, and without libraries, mankind suffers from all which inhibits free thought and enlightenment. Libraries sustain the new literary works in combination with the support they provide to their surrounding communities in the form of tools such as Wifi, new textbooks, and international culture. Libraries have unbelievable importance to modern society, and as time will show it will bring upon new eras of enlightenment which will spark waves of new ideas, novels, and educational standards which have been unprecedented in human history, and all due to one single building.
Sources and Citations:
- “Keeping the Poor Powerless.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, nd. Web. 16 Dec. 2016.