Saturday, February 9, 2013

What Libraries Mean To Me

Today is National Library Day. I went to my library today and picked up Life of Pi for our book club selection to celebrate. My kids and husband were waiting in the car so I couldn't hang out and enjoy the day.

I don't know any bibliophiles who don't love libraries. We can't afford not to. Unless you're wealthy, you probably can't afford to buy EVERY book you want to read and let's face it, not all books are ones you want to buy and keep on your shelf. There are some series that I like only enough to check them out from the library, but not to keep. Another fact, Hoarders would come and make a show about you if  you bought every book that you wanted to read. Having the Kindle app on my iPad has helped with that for the books I do buy, but really, the library takes care of the rest.

I live near the Santa Cruz Public Library. It's a pretty decent library. One of the better ones that I've been in. I am not in it as much as I'd like as my boys are in the under 5 set and they don't stand for the whispering inside thing for long, but we do try to go once a week to restock my older son's Cars book bag. Their favorite thing is to put the books in the book drop and try to catch a glimpse of one of the library technicians on the other side (our indoor book drop is in a door) then pushing the elevator call button to get to the kids area upstairs.

I'm still there with them. I remember the library where I grew up in Southern California. I remember the librarian reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to us when I was either four or five. I remember vividly getting my first library card (it was blue!). I went to private school nearby and my class would walk to the library. I can also recall taking out stacks and stacks of books and having half of them already read before we even returned home.

My first job after I got married was working at the library on the Air Force base where my husband was first stationed in North Dakota. The experience was enlightening, a little rocky, but I met a couple people who have turned into lifelong friends.

My husband jokes we really haven't officially moved somewhere until I've found the local library. Libraries along with bookstores are my sanctuary. Libraries are probably higher on the list because you're not expected to buy the book you're reading and are usually not rushed out. Find a comfy spot and you can stay there until the library is closing.

So on National Library Day go to your local library. Maybe make a purchase or donation to their Friends of the Library program. Our libraries are in danger of becoming extinct. Lots of cities and communities are being forced to reduce hours of operation, cut staff and their hours, and minimize the services offered (my library no longer does interlibrary loans outside of the Santa Cruz County system). Let's keep them around for our kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment