Food for Our Minds & Spirits: Library Appreciation

Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big, beautiful world. Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material

“When people die, they hope to go to heaven; when librarians die, they hope to go to Ohio.”

That joke, told to me by a librarian, has always been confirmed by my time in this state. 

True story––I moved from my research university in New York City to live with my then girlfriend in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. One of my advisors got in touch with me on a trip back to the city. He said, “I thought I’d be seeing a lot more of you because you’d need to get back to the library. What’ve you been doing for research?” I was proud to say, “oh I get everything I need at my local public library.” He thought I was joking. The fact is––as any informed Ohioan knows––if your library is part of the OhioLink system, there is a seamless interlibrary loan system at your fingertips, such that most of the university libraries throughout the state were always at hand. When I explained, my advisor was thunderstruck. I told him I had gotten an order for an obscure German history of Greek rhetoric delivered to me in just 2 days. It seemed to good to be true.
All of that to say––we are very lucky in Ohio to have such a rigorous public force for education. I am humbled by our collective support for them, and it is one of the most consistent things I can draw on to feel good about the direction that our culture is going. So when I saw that Cuyahoga Country Public Library had been named best in the nation, I was reminded just how lucky we are. Its not as easy to make use of our libraries since the pandemic began, but it is a nice reminder just how rich we all are by having this example of collaborative learning around us.

Allan T. Georgia
M.Div., M.T.S., PhD
Director of Religious Education (Lifespan Faith Development)
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland