Posted October 12, 2008on:
I was tagged to write about how I developed my love of libraries. So here goes.
I wrote in my earlier post today about my love of books. My love of libraries came about later when I entered elementary school. I grew up in a more rural area that was outside city limits so I didn’t have free access to a public library until I was much older. Now the township has its own library a short bike ride from my parent’s house. I’m glad for the children growing up there now.
I don’t have many early memories of going to the library in my school, but I do remember it as a great place. It wasn’t a large room, but that didn’t matter. Some of my favorite times were spent in the library. As I got older, our librarian allowed me to stay after school to learn how to type and use the Apple computers. Just imagine the joy I felt being surrounded by books, in the quiet, on my own. This is one of my favorite memories from grade school.
Our high school library wasn’t all that large and it was far from my house (it was a 40 minute bus ride to high school for me), so I started using our community college library when I needed to do research. This is where I discovered the pleasure of microfilm. Not so much because I enjoy getting dizzy watching the pages flash by, but because I could look up all sorts of things and read old news. My family had been in the area for some time, so it was interesting to look at wedding announcements and other tidbits from the past. At the library! Who knew?!
The community college library was where I first experienced shelf after shelf of books. That you could touch and read. Filled with all sorts of information and facts and stories. Of course, I’d been reading for a long time, but I don’t think until that point I really understood how much was out there to experience.
Our local city library was in an old stone building with lions guarding the entrance. I loved this building (the library has since moved to modern quarters in an office building). It was the epitome of what a library should be. Wooden floors, tall ceilings, the smell of dust and paper. I never spent much time there, but the few times were a treat.
Since becoming an adult and living on my own, one of the first places I find in any new town is the local public library. Even though I work in a university library, I still turn to the public library for my pleasure reading. And it’s always a good place to hang out. My favorite room in BigUtown’s library is the periodicals room. Comfy chairs and magazines. It’s great! LittleUtown’s public library is much smaller, but still as wonderful. I like libraries better than bookstores because I don’t have to feel guilty about browsing for hours and not taking anything home with me (although that rarely happens.)
To me, libraries are magical places. No matter where I travel, I always feel at home when I walk into that city’s library. What’s not to love about a place like that?