From “On Gratitude in Academe” (The Chronicle):
Libraries and librarians: Our colleagues who are information professionals provide us with the scholarly resources we need for our research and teaching, and they do so with minimal recognition and considerable pressure to adapt to rapidly changing technologies. While the Internet has been a boon to scholarly research, the physical library is—more than stadiums, more than student centers—the heart of the academic enterprise: It's a place for solitary reflection as well as serendipitous encounters in the context of intellectual seriousness. Nothing can replace libraries as places, even if they are no longer primarily based on the circulation of printed materials.
On the historical dimension of our national day of gratitude, see “Peace, Love and Puritanism” (The New York Times):
Are our present-day values and practices aligned with the historical record, or have they been remade by our consumer culture? Is anything authentic in our own celebrations of Thanksgiving?