On the Library as Culture Pass
"‘Culture Pass’ Turns City Library Cards into Admission for 33 Cultural Institutions" - amny.com/things-to-do/nyc-library-culture-pass-1.19845212. It's a brilliant idea in my view and one consistent with the important role of libraries in urban centers. One of my favorite spots to visit in Melbourne's CBD is the State Library of Victoria. One afternoon last July its main reading room (image here) was completely abuzz with people: international university students being tutored in English; secondary students practicing their algebra and business Japanese; and, the rest of us taking in the atmosphere as inspiration to read and think. These days I travel to Sydney's Mitchell Library in the State Library of NSW, with its own perfectly lit reading spaces. It is almost always similarly chock full of readers. In any case, I think NY city libraries are trailblazing a model as ancient as the library of Alexandria, with its museums and spaces for discussion as well as reading and thought. Libraries do not lose their importance in a digital age. They rather seem to be finding new ways to speak to the human desire for connection.