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Why do libraries exist?


What's the tallest building in town? The library, of course — it has the most stories!

People tell stories and write books to record and preserve knowledge, and for others to read and learn. Libraries are a way of collecting, organizing and storing this information. They have existed for thousands of years. Scientific discoveries, lives and histories: libraries are a place to store it all! Librarians organize the information in a way that makes it easy for people to find what they're looking for. The Dewey Decimal System is just one method.  

The first libraries were collections of official records and documents. During the 7th century BC, the library of Nineveh in Mesopotamia held more than 25,000 clay tablets. The most famous library in the ancient world was in the city of Alexandria in Egypt. Did you know it's still around, rebuilt in a modern form?

Today, public libraries are places where people read, study and gather in their communities. They are open to everyone and most services are free. You can borrow books, newspapers, magazines, movies and music. Some libraries even let you borrow tools, musical instruments, Halloween costumes and... animal skeletons?!

Some things are different right now because of the pandemic. But you can still browse at your local branch or place holds and pick them up. And yes, you can use the library from home! Think about a fun program you've attended in the past, like an after-school club, author visit or puppet show. Those events are still happening online. Not to mention all the wonders, jokes and riddles you send us here on TPL Kids! We're sure glad libraries exist, aren't you?

More library wonders:
How much does a library card cost?
What is the Dewey Decimal System?

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