The Essentiality of Libraries

The Essentiality of Libraries

Information has never been more important, but its sources are at risk

Since the opening of the first public library in America by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, libraries have come a long way. They’ve grown to house millions of books across the country and serve as a valuable resource. Still, some are convinced that libraries are a waste of time and money and should be shut down to save on budgets. Some officials only say they are so that they can secure more funds for their own pet projects. Many library branches have been closed for just these reasons, and others tend to be underfunded for similar reasons. I cannot stress enough how much of a mistake this is.

The books themselves are obviously pretty important to libraries. Everyone knows this is what they are primarily for. What people might not realize is the number of other valuable services that libraries offer to the public completely for free. For those without Internet access, libraries have computer labs for people to use during operating hours. Anything from research to checking emails can be done by anyone with access to a library, even if they can’t afford a computer of their own which has only become more vital as more of life’s resources become digitized.

Open programs are also important to libraries, and are growing in importance as libraries increasingly take on the role of community centers. Speakers come in and give talks to inform others on various topics and intellectually stimulating activities are hosted for patrons young and old. Science exhibits inform them about the wonders of the world and show how we have developed technologically as a society. History exhibits present rare firsthand resources to patrons like journal entries and war memorabilia to teach about past conflicts in history and ensure that they are not repeated.

And this is barely scratching the surface. I only have 500 words to explain this to you, but the amount that libraries do for communities is staggering. It couldn't possibly all fit in this article alone. Because of this, I encourage you to visit your own local library and see for yourself. Ask a librarian what is available to you and learn about what kinds of tools and services are at your fingertips so that you may come to understand why the lack of funding for them is a modern tragedy, and support the recovery of these institutions whenever possible. It sounds cliched, but knowledge really is power, and there's an abundance of both at your nearest library. You simply need to choose to make use of it.

Cover Image Credit: Net Literacy

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13 Things All Nursing Majors Know Really Well, Besides The Inside Of Their Eyelids

Ah yes, multiple night shifts, in a row. Splendid.

College. The true test of how well you're able to balance sleep, school, and a social life all at once. Each student knows this struggle all too well, but nursing students are forced to take this juggling act to the extreme. Between early morning clinicals, studying, homework, PrepUs, and care plans there is barely any time left to have a social life, or let alone sleep. To prove the struggle, here are 13 things that all nursing majors know too well.

1. How all the professors acted during your first week of nursing school

2. When your clinical instructor makes you arrive at 6 a.m. sharp every week and stay until 4 p.m.

3. When your professors schedule two tests in the same week along with 25 PrepU quizzes

4. When your test answer was correct but not the MOST correct

5. When you go home for break and your family members ask you how nursing school is going

6. When you somehow find time to go out but don't know how to dress in something other than scrubs

7. When your patient presses the call light for the 100th time in the last 10 minutes

8. When your clinical instructor lets you pass meds and start an IV all in the same day

9. How you feel when your patient says, "You're going to be a great nurse someday!"

10. When your friends get upset that you can never hang out with them anymore

11. When you argue with your professor on a test question and earn the whole class points back

12. How you felt after you successfully gave your first shot to a patient

13. And when you realize that one day all of this stress and hard work will finally pay off and you will have the job of your dreams!

Cover Image Credit: @greysabc

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Know Your Rights But Know When They Cross The Line

"Chants and protests only go so far unless you have evidence to back up your words or else you're just putting up an empty fight."


The first amendment states that you have the right to express freedom of speech, religion, of assembly, of the press and to petition. This is the amendment that essentially allows us to have an opinion and not be afraid to say it aloud without the consequences of government intervention. This is why we see both sides of the political spectrum marching for what they believe is right and chanting for changes they want to see happen in our country. But can a chant be taken too far, can a protest turn violent?

Of course, it can. We have seen peaceful protests turn violent, coming from both red and blue sides. We, as a nation, are not shocked when we see events like this happening on the news. But how about if it happened right in front of you? Would it make you feel a different way rather than feeling the secondhand effects from the television screen? What if someone at that rally was traumatized by someone's words or what if you knew someone who felt the negative reverberations due to someone's political agenda? I have seen it and I have felt it.

I believe there is a line and once it is crossed the debates turn into arguments which then turn into ignorance. You are no longer using your first amendment right if you choose to use it solely as an offense mechanism. Of course, everyone has the right to their own opinion and they are most certainly allowed to fight for what they think is right, but once you decided to not consider the other side's viewpoint; you're only fighting for yourself. And that is not progressive thinking.

Being progressive requires intersectional thinking. The tunnel vision of your own beliefs is dangerous and we need to learn how to widen that tunnel. For example, during the midterm elections, I noticed a lot of people joining in on the campaign discussion, which is amazing! I also wanted to take the time to listen to what people wanted for Arizona despite whether the "change" they were striving for was a Democratic or Republican one. The power of listening to both sides goes a long way. You never want to miss an opportunity to take into consideration someone else's experiences and why they believe what they believe. And while we should never be afraid to state our own opinions, we also should not shut out someone else's.

I know that politics can get messy sometimes and I know that you think your belief is the right one, trust me I have been there. But I think we all need to learn how to be more open-minded; whether you're a Conservative or a Liberal. Chants and protests only go so far unless you have evidence to back up your words or else you're just putting up an empty fight. The first amendment is a beautiful thing but should be used wisely and with as much grace as possible.

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