Mansa Musa and Libraries

mansa musa

Photo creds: Perry, Philip. “Did This Medieval African Empire Invent Human Rights?” Big Think. N.p., 22 Jan. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

Paul Ryan: Listen to your voters, they value their libraries

In today’s age, many programs are being cut throughout the country. One of the programs being cut is library programs. This is opposite of what Mansa Musa strived for in the 1300’s. He is now recognized by historians as the richest person in history. He used his money to create hundreds of libraries and spread knowledge throughout his empire. The picture above is of Mansa Musa holding a gold coin surrounded by pictures of mosques and libraries he paid for to be built. Today, Mansa Musa’s love to spread knowledge through libraries is used for political arguments. Recently, an editor of a newspaper in Wisconsin criticized Paul Ryan cutting library programs. He used Mansa Musa as an example of a ruler who valued libraries and the power they had. In the modern age, it is true that most places have access to the internet. However, some places do not have access to the internet due to their rural and geographical locations. For some people, the only way to get knowledge is at a library. In the past, the best way to access a large amount of knowledge were libraries like the ones Mansa Musa built. Not only that, but the manuscripts he put into the libraries were ones with lots of knowledge. This is how some view libraries to be seen today. This affects us in Minnesota today. With libraries being cut throughout the country, it could soon have an effect on Minnesota, especially rural Minnesota communities. We need to start paying attention to what things created a positive effect in the past, like Mansa Musa building libraries being good for his empire. In fact, some of the manuscripts from libraries he funded still survive today. Libraries are a great way to get knowledge to all people and we need to preserve and create more as Mansa Musa did in the 1300’s and beyond.


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