“Knowledge sets us free, art sets us free. A great library is freedom.

And that freedom must not be compromised. It must be available to all who need it, and that’s everyone, when they need it, and that’s always.”

-‘The Wave in the Mind’, Ursula Le Guin, p.22-

Since I’ve moved to the U.S. and been liberated from the obligation of reading academic publications in graduate school, I’ve discovered the joy of using public libraries.

In Thailand (at least when I grew up), we didn’t have good public libraries. When I wanted to read, I had to buy books. It got even worse when I started reading English books. They were crazy expensive, considering the low living expense in Thailand.

Public libraries in the U.S. are fantastic. I can borrow physical books, eBooks, audiobooks, DVDs, and CDs. The only downside so far is that I may have to wait for a long time for newly-released books, which could take weeks or months, depending on how popular the books are. But in the meantime, I can just turn my attention to thousands of available books I have yet to explore.

I have to agree with Le Guin. The joy of having a wide range of books to read feels akin to freedom. Freedom to explore the world through written words and beyond.

ครูม่อนคิดว่าห้องสมุดถือเป็นเสรีภาพจริงๆค่ะ เสรีภาพทางความรู้ เสรีภาพทางความคิด คิดว่าบ้านเราน่าจะมีการลงทุนในการสร้างห้องสมุดให้มากขึ้น ทุกๆคนเห็นว่ายังไงบ้างคะ