While the nostalgia factor alone convinced me of the merit of adult summer reading programs, there has been some push-back. Critics of the programs tend to say that adults shouldn’t need incentives to read, reading is its own reward, etc. And to these people, I say, “oh come on.” Unlike mandatory classroom reading logs (and there’s evidence those might not help as much as we think), these summer programs for kids and adults are voluntary. They are fun, for heaven’s sake. I’m all for anything that encourages people to read, use their public libraries, and think about how to squeeze in a few more pages before bed. Whether or not this reading meets some bizarre ideological purity standard just does not interest me. What does interest me? Library branded sunglasses, y’all.


The World’s Oldest Library Has Reopened



Bit of a correction, not the world’s oldest library but the world’s oldest university’s library.  

The University of Al-Quaraouiyine was founded in 859 by a Muslim woman named Fatima al-Fihri and since it’s founding it has hosted scholars of different subjects from all parts of the world.  However, in the 21st century the library had greatly decayed so an architect named Aziza Chaouni was commissioned to help restore it.  Chaouni agreed immediately because she did not want a historical site to fall into ruin.  And now she has completed her task 🙂


“Chaouni made sure to use as authentic as possible materials in fixing the site, and what she couldn’t repair, she simply recreated. In addition, she took special care to make sure that the library is actually usable to researchers and scholars as well, adding new furniture and solar panels for sustainable power.”

i tend to keep my screaming in the tags and indeed i have ADDITIONAL screaming in the tags but ahh hh h h h hyou guys this is one of my favorite, favorite historical institutions– first university, also: Maimonides studied here. Ibn Khaldun studied here. Leo Africanus studied here. It is unspeakably distinguished.

(The library isn’t as old as the university– it’s from the 14th century, actually! But it is still very ancient and contains an incredible collection.)

It’s in Fez. I am so incredibly jealous of Fez.

The World’s Oldest Library Has Reopened