How often do you visit a library? Do you go to borrow books? Do research? Check out the multi-media center? Hang out with the friendly and knowledgeable staff? Are you there out of love or out of need?I love the library. I think I've always loved the library.
The first library I remember was in an old, dignified building off the square of the small town where I grew up. It had been a post office before that, but not one of those small and dingy types. This is what it looked like:
Some of the librarians, including the Children's Librarian were stern and kind of scary. When a librarian checked out your books, the machine made a loud punching sound, which was almost the only sound in the whole building because librarians in those days were excellent shushers and they were not afraid to Hush You Up.
But I loved the library anyway.
And I still do. I try to take my girls every other week. Our system now has an excellent book ordering system on line so I can order all the things I need for the girls' school on Philip's teacher card and he can pick them up for us when he's there tutoring (almost every afternoon).
I still try to take the girls every other week, just because they love it.
There's a lot less shushing these days. There are computer games, internet access and programs of every type. I occasionally make the trip to the downtown library for research. There's something mystically soothing about scrolling through microfilm.
Our librarians at our branch know us by name. They ask us about our lives and how Philip's games are selling. They comment on how big the girls are getting, and they should know, because we've taken them there since Polly was a baby.
I remember Sweet Pea asking how much we had to pay for the books we were getting (several book bags worth). Not feeling it necessary to go into a discussion about local taxes (or late materials fees), I just said, "Nothing. They let us borrow these and then we bring them back when our turn is over and borrow more."
She looked around the building.
"All of this?"
"That's really nice," she said.
This post is linked to Booking Through Thursday.