The Mary L. Stephens public library in Davis reopened a few months ago after a big refurbishment; I popped by last weekend to check it out. I had forgotten just how much I love libraries. I used to spend hours and hours in libraries, searching through the books, letting my imagination go wild in silence. When I was a kid, I would go to Burnt Oak library and spend ages reading books about space and dinosaurs and languages. As I grew up the love of libraries never left me. I spent a lot of time at this library when I first came to Davis. It was nice being back. I think libraries are incredibly important for our societies. In these days of budget cuts and ‘austerity’, I’m more thankful than ever that we have them. It’s amazing, in a way; while record companies vehemently fight tooth and nail to stop illegal downloading of songs and file sharing of copyrighted material, it’s perfectly normal for us to go to a library and borrow for FREE any published book they have. It’s a lesson to those moneygrabbers; free lending libraries have usually helped rather than hurt the publishing industry. Nowadays we have the internet of course, the ‘reliable’ Wikipedias and Googles and other such instant sources if information, on our iPads and iPods and Kindles and Blackberries and Raspberries and other smart-fruits, people might think libraries are less important, just places for people with nowhere to go. I however think that a society which wilfully loses its libraries loses its link to culture, learning and freedom of thought. In Davis, for one, the library seems to be as popular as ever. Long may our libraries last.