Behold the wonderful library — a place of learning, creation and comfort

This is a call to keep learning and reading alive

OPINION, Grades 7–9, 1st Place

The library stands as an important place in Averill Park High School. Towering bookshelves supplying unlimited knowledge sit, just waiting for eager hands to hold them. Soft strains of conversation spiral toward the tall ceiling. This serene place with books that comforts the outside walls and readers’ minds is special to everyone.

Whether it’s the place where you eat lunch, meet your friends, read, check-out books or write, it’s no doubt the library plays a crucial role in students’ everyday lives.

“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury is required reading at Averill Park High School and the story is of what happens when society takes away books, the access to quality information, leisure to digest them and the ability to act on the previous two remarks. Imagine the library without those beautiful walls of books, the beautiful rows of books, the beautiful shelves of books. Imagine in that space many programmed, monotonous, lonely computers of technology.

Technology isn’t necessarily the evil this planet needs to be rid of. There are several beneficial aspects to it. It contributes to helping people gain their independence, it helps keep people healthy, and it makes certain aspects of life easier. But it still isn’t human.

The harsh metal or materials holding computers together aren’t made of cells, they don’t hold life and scientifically books don’t either, but emotionally they so do. They create a portal to another land, another life, and the only portal you will find in technology is a website.

Have you ever smelled an old book? It’s one of the best smells in the world. The aroma is comparable to cookies or other comforting goods, objects, or thoughts. To get rid of that sort of comfort is to plunge those who rely on it into a sea of discomfort.

There are so many things happening at the library. The Makerspace, book borrowing, reading, writing and there are always people there, always creating.

Another part of “Fahrenheit 451” describes what people’s hands are doing when you think about them. You want your hands to be moving, creating and the library provides that. The moment it stops … well, that’s when the hands stop moving, stop creating and stay sedentary. How sad is that?

The point being, whenever it’s complained or brought up about how thick volumes of blossoming paper and beautiful ideas and thoughts are taking up space, let it be reminded that knowledge is an incomparable bounty and adventures are priceless, wherever it is. These adventures and knowledge can be found in those thick volumes of blossoming paper.

This isn’t a call against science. This is not a call against technology. The Averill Park High School library has never removed books for computers.

This is a call of recognition and of awareness so that when you make interactions with books and technology you are conscientious in not giving technology power to rule over books.

This is a call for prevention, to not create a society similar to “Fahrenheit 451.” The justification for the removal of books in the novel was disinterest.

This is a call to keep the learning and reading alive. To preserve the art of creation, of reading, and of writing.

The stoic portals lining the library contain warnings, and when we ignore those warnings, then it becomes that dystopian horror novel, minus the zombies, but with the same results of restriction and limitations.

See all the winning entries from the 2019 Student Gazette here.

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