I’m currently reading a book about books, and one of the contributors was talking about a time when her children were very young when she bundled them up, took them to the library, and found this phenomenal book that she was able to savor for ten minutes while her girls were otherwise occupied with library games and books. I may not have had this exact experience, but I could 100% relate to that feeling of finding a few moments of bliss in a quiet, warm library.
I considered, then, writing a blog about how much I love the library. I shared this with Kiana (the Director of the Mackinaw District Public Library) when I was checking out books earlier this week and she said, “This would be perfect timing, as it is Love Your Library month!”
Perfect. In honor of Love Your Library month, here are a few of my own moments of bliss I have found in a library:
Early on – a school trip to the town library, grabbing a Sweet Valley High and being told that the content was a little too grown up for me. I think they let me check it out anyway. I was 7 or 8 – the content was maybe a *little* too grown up for me but I read Sweet Valleys long after I was way too grown up for them.
Spending hours and hours at Decatur Public Library. The children’s room was my own sanctuary. I just got comfortable and waited for mom and dad to come pick me up and tell me it was time to go, which they never did. I had to go search them out. Good thing I did, as we’d probably all still be there otherwise.
Graduating to the JA section at Decatur Public Library – in the new building! Discovering Caroline B. Cooney. The Face on the Milk Carton – aah! I should read it again now, but what if it sucked?
Coming home from the library book sale, dad pulling books out of his enormous green army bag, announcing the title of each book as he handed it to its new owner. I probably took this opportunity to make fun of my sister’s choices. I was such an asshat then, unlike now.
Junior high era - spending time in Cerro Gordo’s town library after school, waiting to be picked up. I can’t recall what type of books I looked at. At that time, I was so angsty that I probably just sat in a corner and shook. Who else is glad that THOSE days are over?
Hours and hours in ISU’s Milner Library, looking through scripts trying to find that PERFECT monologue that would help me capture what a phenomenal actress I truly was. I never found that monologue, probably because I was a little less phenomenal than I thought. Oh well, now I fundraise (and I’m phenomenal at it!)
Looping endlessly through the aisles of books in the summer of 2012, looking for something to read during Vivian’s hospital stay – something to get my mind off of reality in the 5 minute gaps I could seize between nurse visits, text message update requests, holding Vivian’s hand, and still trying to do some work. I really started reading again that year and haven’t stopped, despite having a much more pleasant reality from which to escape.
Picking up my own children after school, hearing Veronica’s stories about how she helped the librarians and occasionally how she might’ve talked them into giving her a cookie. The relief of knowing that my town has a safe place (filled with books) for my kiddos to hang out after school where they’re not babysat but they’re not alone.
Learning how to navigate the RSA CAT interlibrary loan system. Those e-mails that arrive informing me that my books are ready to be picked up are like messages from Santa Claus. Books! For free.
Sifting through the front hallways of my library, occasionally selecting a book to add to my home library. I haven’t collected books in recent years due to moving and moving again, but Jeff is soon to build me a book nook and I need to ensure it contains more than 10 books. (Books! For free!)
Taking part in some of the fun activities our library has to offer, such as parties for the kids, blind-date-with-a-book displays, March Madness for books, and more. Looking forward to enjoying the youth activities all over again here in a few years!
Throughout all of my local library experiences – knowing the librarians, at least to some extent. Kiana was my friend before she took on the Library Director role. It’s always a treat to walk in and see one of my favorite friendly faces behind the counter and quickly catch up on life.
Appreciating, every day, that I am able to read as much as I want – almost any book I want – without having to spend a dime. Incredible!
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.