The Problem with Utah Libraries

Matthew Ralston

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Since the modern day libraries have two jobs, to provide books of interesting subject matter and varied maturity, and to provide a quiet calm place to enjoy said books. Utah fails in these two categories.

If one goes to a library here in this Davis county, asking for a library card, with which to take books out, they require you to be 18 years of age to take out a card, which fails in the first requirement of libraries. When a child wants to take out a book, and get a card, if their parents are abusive, or controlling, and don’t allow their child to read, how will this child get literature if they need their guardian to get a card? What if the child’s legal guardian is away too often to be able to sit down and sign paperwork to allow this child to entertain and educate themselves.

Even if said child gains the chance to get a card, what would the point be? In one such library as there are in Davis, the subject matter is not varied or mature enough to suit enough of their populations taste. Walking down the aisles of the library, you’ll find novels in the adult section better suited to the teen section, the teen section would be better labelled as the child’s section, for the maturity in the novels are ignorant and immature, expecting the children and the adults alike to read literature unsuited for their age, and unsuited for their maturity levels.

When it comes to the calm portion of the libraries jobs, they fail as well. The amount of screaming children, or undisciplined teens found inside the libraries, untaught of how to act in such of the place, draws the attention away from the literature that people intend to get lost in. How can you explore a fantastical world spun with words when your mind is being pulled to listen to the children screaming about their treat being taken away.

If Utah wishes to improve their libraries, they should take note of how other states function their reading nooks, with sound deadened rooms for children, and separate alcoves for the teens to sit in and read, to allow their shelves to be stocked with more mature and varied literature, instead of the walls of tacky romance in the adult sections and the shelves of 12 year old fiction in their youth sections.

If you wish to improve the intellect and creativity of a generation, and of their children, there is nothing better than a well stocked and well made library. Take note and improve your libraries Utah, for the sake of this and future generations.