Libraries are those places where they shush you if you’re too loud, remember? Well, as dorky as that might have seemed to 80s yuppies and 90s tech gurus, the fundamental value of a library has only improved. Today, libraries are resurfacing as pretty cool places to accomplish genuine studies and detailed research into matters of personal importance.
The image of sulky students sitting quiet and alone persists, but in an era of electronic information overload, books have somehow become definitive again. The endlessly-on home Wi-Fi seems a less conducive environment for many pursuits than the fixed-hours, enabling routine and intel of a library.
Library Cool Defined
Libraries are cool because they’re a text-rich environment. That’s not trending on Instagram right now, but pop cool differs from really cool. Students know this — they can get assistance and facilities at libraries unavailable elsewhere. In a real sense, the current generation at the library is carrying over the coolness of public access to humanity’s comprehensive, printed storehouse of information. History, science and almost any other discipline you can name, still finds its true expression in a curated body of printed works.
The library is also cool because most have made an effort to stay relevant and current, so it’s not to imply that you’ll have to choose between the stultifying old library or modern tech arena. Almost all libraries anywhere in the world have assimilated tech as far as it benefits their existence, and more so that of their clients. Pretoria hosts the National Library too, at 75 Thabo Sehume (Andries) Street, so Tshwane also has a claim to hosting the coolest library in the country!
Postnet Without Queuing, And Tons And Tons Of Books!
Dumb is never cool, intelligence is. And a child’s systematic leaning on the library for primary school projects is a cool and beneficial habit to carry over to adulthood. There are still ‘teachers’ assistants’ for mahala at any library! They say nothing makes smart like a library, and that’s still true in 2018. Rather than clicking through to a new tab in a lonely quest, libraries come with humans who can help you find stuff and even extrapolate it for you. Typically, libraries also offer needed services like photocopying and printing, so they’re just the right mix of functionality and glorious information overload.
A plethora of public libraries are scattered around Pretoria, so you’re spoiled for choice. Awesome places for a bit of concentrated reading and note-taking, libraries also remain the best option for exam prep, lacking your mattress, fridge and packets of Doritos. If making time to study or to investigate something in detail resonates, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better environment than the library.
There’s something about a sorted, somehow beautiful environment packed with intel and assistance that carries its own charm. The National Library has also garnered a reputation as a place that never leaves you bare. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll come away with good, relevant intel, and that currency is something hard to beat at any other institution, or through any other means.