Friday, April 13, 2012

Libraries we love part 1.

©Ryuji Suzuki.
Niki Burnham
My father was in the Army when I was growing up, which means that my family packed up and moved every couple of summers. Since I didn't have the opportunity to make new friends until after school started, each new library became my social center. Within a day or so of arriving at a new post, my parents--both big readers--would drive my brothers and me to the post library, fill out the paperwork for new library cards, then let us explore to our heart's content. I always checked out the maximum number of books, as did my parents. It felt like a reward for moving to get to go to a new library. Once I was settled in my new school, my trips to the library didn't slow; instead, I'd urge my new friends to join me. The librarians at every single post were friendly without fail, and they always asked questions about what I'd read so they could make recommendations to other teens. No matter where I've lived, I've found libraries to be warm, welcoming, and a source of endless entertainment.

Misty from The Book Rat 

I was a huge library visitor from the very first time my preschool class took a "field trip" and walked the block and a half to the library, where we met Jenny (famous among kids from probably the 1970s through to her recent retirement) and her bunny. Don't remember the bunny's name, but I do remember thinking it was magical that, here was a room full of books, and it had a bunny. From that day on, I begged and begged to go to the library every chance I got.

When I got a little bit older, maybe 11 or so, and my mom trusted me enough to walk or ride my bike to the library on my own (this was a different library, and I was going from a different house, but in the same town - we're blessed with good libraries here), my best friend and I would make the trip, about 20 minutes each way, a couple of times a week. We'd be so loaded down with books that we could barely make it home. I think the librarians didn't believe us when we said, Yes, we do read all of these books, and in fact, even swap them and read each other's before bringing them back.

Now, a lot older, I know all of the librarians in most of the libraries in my town by name, and they know me. We celebrate each other's birthdays and go to movies-based-on-books together. We have raucous book club meetings and dinners, where drinks are had and (eye)glasses are broken. And the library is still a magical place full of so many books I can hardly stand it - though sadly, there is no bunny. (The bunny retired, too. That's not a euphemism - he's happily munching carrots somewhere.)

Caroline Starr Rose 
I've just moved back to my hometown, and one of the first places I visited was my childhood library. Walking in I was greeted by rich memories and the familiar smell of books. Heaven!

1 comment:

  1. So glad there are libraries in the world! Thanks, Britt, for hosting us today.


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