Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Library is the Hospital of Mind

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Library is the Hospital of Mind

Many of mind diseases are Communicable and its poisonous viruses can rapidly spread through new media among the society. More than ever, there are seriously needs for hospitals of mind but there is no better hospital for mind than library. Whatever the cost of libraries is, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant and ill nation. The nation who does not use library or read books will frequently repeat the history, and the man who does not read books has no advantage over the man who cannot read books. In fact, library is the center of intellectual thinking, social activities and production of thoughts in a growing country. In the other word, Library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life and there is nothing more wonderful than a book! We may sit in our library or pick up a book and yet are in all corners of the earth and history.  A message to us from the dead, — from human souls whom we never saw, who lived perhaps thousands of miles away; and yet these, on those little sheets of paper, speak to us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.
Libraries largely contributed to long term processes of human capital formation, the maintenance of mental and physical wellbeing, social inclusivity and the cohesion of communities. This is the real economic contribution that libraries usually make to a nation. The fact that these processes are long term, that the financial benefits arise downstream from libraries’ activities, that libraries make only a contribution to what are multi-dimensional, complex processes of human and social development, suggests that attempting to derive a realistic and accurate overall monetary valuation for this is akin to the search for the holy grail. What it does show is that measuring libraries’ short term economic impact provides only a very thin, diminished account of their true value.
Taking into account that chronic poverty is adversely dominating society education and valuable books are beyond the fiscal ability of students and people to buy; only public libraries can equally quench the thirst of people and students regardless of their socioeconomic status. In addition, modern libraries can present classes and discussion programs, exchange the ideas and online education courses for unemployed men and women. Many focus group participants noted that libraries "level the playing field." While many people of higher socio-economic status routinely purchase books, subscribe to and conduct their research online without ever visiting a library, many lower income individuals and families do not have that option. Universal access is one of the most important strengths of the library. The availability of resources, technology, and educational opportunities provide everyone with the availability to improve themselves and their life circumstances. Even those patrons in higher income brackets need to prioritize their spending.
As the library is not confined to traditional libraries in today’s life; rather it can be consist of vast sources to non-stop learning opportunities including old traditional library, electrical, visual and so on. For instance, a purposeful learner can find television very educational, the minute somebody turns it on, he can go into the library and read a good book or when a client waiting for his paper work at a government office, he can use his mobile as a library before his job get done.
In spite of all the educational resources and opportunities, unfortunately Statistics of book readers are almost zero in Afghanistan. There are verities of factors but what is, somewhat, practical to call is to cultivate the reading habit instead opium cultivation and to promote reading culture instead of systematic cultural discriminations. Secondly, we need to warn the society that when a child opens a book or turns on an electric device he pushes the gate that separates him from elsewhere. It gives him useful or harmful choices of opening the door to unknown, maybe, misleading and poisonous resources. Hence, it is needed to be managed and monitored along with the mass media.
In the other terms, because the success of library depends largely on the proper selection of books, journals and periodicals, there is a strong need to establish a small committee of teachers or experts, for selecting the right books for library. The guiding principles in selection should not be the experts’ own idea of what books the students or the people must read but their natural, the social and psychological interests as well as national needs must be considered. So, common saying is absolutely true to tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are.

Therefore, it is crucially needed to table certain national solutions: First, we need to start a constant national campaign to convince all that Afghanistan cannot be changed unless by book. People should support those who really support educational development in Afghanistan.  Secondly, in terms of national budget management education and libraries should be on the top of the priorities. Besides being determined against terrorist, all developmental strategies should be changed towards removing illiteracy from Afghanistan. Education should be added as compulsory duty for every citizen in national constitution. Those who disagree we must indentify weather they do not work for Afghanistan or do not know what a miracle education and libraries do in the twenty-first century. Only libraries and educational organization can build a nation, nation is not built on the surface of earth it must be built in mind and in heart of people.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@ gmail.com

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