Laura Miller, at Salon.
The Rose Reading Room is an exceptional place, but even the humblest branch library can provide the same precious resource to its patrons. There’s nothing “elite” about needing some tranquility, either: If anything, the poorer and younger you are, the harder it is to find a quiet spot to read, write and think, where family isn’t crowding around and countless electronic devices aren’t blaring at you from every corner. Access to a little peace and quiet is as essential to a humane society as access to parks and art. That’s not something the Internet is ever going to be able to give us. It can only be found in a real, not a virtual, place, which is what libraries have always been and what we all still need them to be.
I have newly rekindled my love affair with libraries, and am loving every second of it.