The following piece, written by the editorial editors, reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board.
Miami University’s libraries are some of the greatest resources on campus, though they may also be the most underrated and overlooked.
Have you ever thought about the enormous amount of information housed within the walls of King or B.E.S.T.? Aside from database access and back issues of old newspapers, King has shelves upon shelves of books that many students never learn how to navigate.
Most are educational — the psychology behind how we establish relationships, an extensive history of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the evolution of women’s rights.
You name it, Miami’s libraries likely have it.
What’s more, we students will never again have this multitude of resources available to us. After leaving Oxford, any community that we move to, any library we become members of, will not measure up to King or B.E.S.T.
Miami is a powerful institution, and it has spent years collecting and archiving these materials.
So, go in. Pick up a book. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. King Library has a leisure reading section full of fiction novels as well as biographies and memoirs of people ranging from politicians to pop culture icons.
The benefits of reading go beyond memorizing the facts from a certain book.
Reading is relaxing and can help you de-stress by allowing you to escape the busyness of day-to-day life.
Reading makes you smarter overall. It exposes you to new ideas. It expands your vocabulary as well as your world view.
While reading textbooks and understanding course material is beneficial to both you and your teachers, what’s really impressive is when you can contribute something new and different to the class discussion. Incorporating outside knowledge proves to professors you are invested in your education — that you value learning.
For those who say they “don’t have time,” to read, think of the 10-minute increments you spend scrolling aimlessly through your Instagram feed while you wait for class to start, or the promises you make to yourself to watch “just one more episode” of your favorite Netflix series before bed. The truth is, these little moments add up, and before we know it, hours of our day are spent staring mindlessly at some screen or another.
Why not rededicate this time to reading?
It seems the desire to read peaks somewhere in elementary school, then declines thereafter.
We can all remember staying up late, hunched under the covers in our childhood bedrooms with a flashlight in one hand and a book in the other, hoping our parents wouldn’t come in and tell us to get to sleep.
We remember wanting to read a book that was outside our literacy — or maturity — level, whether that be the novels our parents read, a book of scary stories we were forbidden from because it might give us nightmares or our older sister’s edition of Cosmopolitan.
Reading was exciting, and we were interested.
But, as we progress through school, reading turns into a chore. We dread getting our course lists and seeing what the damage will be. We walk reluctantly into DuBois, ready to spend a small fortune on a used paperback that, in all likelihood, we will never crack open.
Our fond memories of books are crushed under the weight of our responsibilities, as reading turns from an activity we “want” to do, to one we “have” to do.
March is national reading month, and we want to challenge the students of Miami — read something. Anything. A comic book, a magazine, the article your professor assigned you for homework.
Don’t just skim it, really read. Try to understand and maybe even enjoy the material. And if you can’t find anything interesting to read, go to King and look around.
The library is more than just a great study area. Though the bottom floor has earned the nickname “Club King,” it is more than a glorified Starbucks or a place to see friends.
While we commend the students who go to King at all, we urge you to reevaluate the time you spend there. Take a moment to take advantage of all it offers. Because you might not appreciate it now, but you will miss it when you leave Miami’s campus.