A couple of Fridays ago, I had some time on my hands, so I went to the newly refurbished Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library. Always a beautiful space, it is now brighter and cleaner as well. It is certainly conducive to creativity and work. And let’s admit it, the two go hand in hand. But surrounded by beauty and knowledge, it is easier to engage in the search for truth. (Support your local libraries, museums, and cultural institutions, my friends. Tell your Congressmen to support the arts, the NEH and the NEA.)
As I looked around the majestic room, I saw people from all walks of life immersed in all sorts of reading/writing activities: in print, online, by hand, by machine, researching, creating, in English, in Chinese, Spanish, French, etc. And others came in to appreciate the art and architecture, and others just to sit for a minute. It is a beautiful space that offers so much to so many. I feel lucky to have experienced it today. And in a true New York moment, I ran into people I know who had just stopped in to see the room!
One of the things I love about libraries is the access to the creativity of generations. Thousands, millions really, have left a little part of themselves for us to read and know. They inform, challenge, and inspire. But the Rose Reading Room of the NYPL does even more–through the beautiful architecture of the building, the space itself inspires. It is a place I love, yet definitely do not get to enough.
Musing on a topic? Stuck on a scene? Look up to the newly renovated ceiling and drift among the clouds or trace with your eyes the ornate designs. Soon, new ideas and connections will spring to mind, and your creativity will flow freely. Grab a seat and begin. I’ll see you there!