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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Editorial: Cool people visit libraries

Christa Kim
A child pulling a wagon full of books toward a library with images from the stories floating behind. Students and community members should utilize their local public library. (Christa Kim | Northern Star)

In the age of technology, audiobooks and e-books are increasingly becoming more popular as buying books with one button becomes more convenient. Getting out of the house and visiting a local library tends to be forgotten by individuals looking for something to read. 

In 1987, the American Library Association deemed September to be National Library Card Sign-Up Month in hopes of encouraging people to take advantage of public libraries. 

Public libraries are one of the few free things in our world that offer lots of good to society. Obtaining a library card is free; and once you have one, there are many other worlds offered to you to check out. 

Obtaining a library card at the DeKalb Public Library is free for anyone who is a resident of DeKalb and/or is a student at NIU. The process takes no more than five minutes, and the access it provides is infinite.

Most libraries contain computers and free printing to those who don’t have access at home. 

Those affected by homelessness also take advantage of libraries, given that these institutions are a source of news and information for those who don’t have access to electronics. During the winter, homeless individuals use the library as a safe space to keep warm from the frigid cold air. 

The DeKalb Public Library, located at 309 Oak Street, stands as a three-story white building that houses centuries of knowledge and resources. On the outside of the building, names of famous authors are carved into the stone, almost like they’re welcoming visitors into their domain. 

The main floor contains the young adult and adult book section along with movies, CDs and audiobooks. A computer lab stands next to the teen section which contains free printing. 

For students who need a new environment to study in, study rooms can be rented on both the main and second floor. 

The second floor of the library is the kid’s section, a place of comfort and wonder. In the back, there is a room called “The Tree Room,” which has toys and places for children to sit and read. 

There is a wooden structure in the middle that replicates a tree trunk and giant clear leaves that light up. Though this spot will only interest children, sitting in the room for a few seconds will feel nostalgic as forgotten feelings of contentment wash over you. 

Public libraries promote the opportunity to learn new things and expand your intelligence. They provide equal opportunities to everyone of all ages and social class as well as supply a variety of educational tools. If you haven’t visited a library, make that commute. Sign up for a library card and read the books that are offered to you for free.

Another great way to celebrate National Library Card Sign-Up Month is to spread the word. Encourage family and friends to visit their local libraries and check out what they have to offer. By doing that, you’re supporting local institutions and you may even find a new interest while you’re at it. 

NIU has its own library at the heart of our campus. The Founders Memorial Library consists of four levels that contain rows upon rows of books and a lower level that houses Einstein Bros. Bagels and study spaces. For a break between classes, catch up on homework in one of the study spaces and grab a bagel or a coffee from Einstein Bros. Bagels. 

The library has several academic centers that provide assistance to students, such as the University Writing Center and the Huskie Academic Support Center. 

Getting homework help and tutoring is free for students. For private homework sessions, smart classrooms and study rooms can be rented online by the hour and are on the second, third and fourth floors. 

For viewing pleasures, Founders also has an expansive archived collection of books and historical records. Having access to archived collections is crucial in preserving historical works.You are able to see books that have existed for centuries and are able to understand why they existed for so long. These works are open to students and to the public, free of charge. 

The library is not only accessible to students, but also to DeKalb residents. By getting a visitor library card, DeKalb locals are allowed to check out materials such as books, CDs and government records and use the Founder’s online database to search for specific books.

Public libraries are crucial to communities, big or small. As the month of September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, utilize the institutions that cultivate knowledge and spread the written word. As long as people share the wonders of libraries, they will never die.

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