Today’s impromptu post on this blistery, cold Autumn day, was inspired by my spur-of-the-moment trip to my local library, located a mere 7 or so minutes away from my home. I had an appointment during the latter part of this morning and instead of heading home immediately thereafter, I decided to take the short trip to the library, given I am nearing the end of yet another book by one of my favorite authors, Amy Hatvany, and am in need of additional reading material. Unlike many others, I rarely purchase books. Sure, I would love to have the ability to add to my own personal library at home, but unfortunately, books are expensive. Instead, I voyage to the library and tend to check out at least two books at a time, thankful for the ability to quickly renew them via the library website with the click of a button. To be honest, I actually enjoy visiting the library. From a young age, my mom, a teacher, instilled a love of reading and the library, in general within my sister and I. When we were young, she would take us to the various events our local library would hold, including the beloved, “Teddy Bear Picnic,” where children would bring their favorite teddy bears and books to be read and shared on the library’s front lawn. Also, during the summer months, my mom would enroll my sister and I in the summer reading program at the library where we would read certain books selected by the children’s librarians assembled on a list. Each week, we would meet with the librarian and fellow peer readers to discuss and create projects based on all we read. It was an activity I loved and looked forward to.
My love of reading and the library spilled into my adolescent and young adult years, as I would frequently visit to check out books advertised and mentioned in my favorite magazines and newspapers. The more I read, the more I started to follow authors such as: Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Elizabeth Berg, Ann Brashares, Megan McCafferty, among others. Most recently, I started following Amy Hatvany, Elin Hildebrand, Meg Donohue and a host of others. As a self-professed, “writer,” I tend to find a certain sense of comradeship in these women authors, impressed by their craft and handle of the English language.
My visit to the library today, though nothing out of the ordinary, for some reason, felt special to me, in a way. The library, as it typically is, was packed. Though, at that time of day, early afternoon on a Monday, it was filled with many elderly patrons, many of whom may be retired, mothers with their children, young adults – perhaps college students, researching and maybe some like myself, who are still figuring out their life’s path. Still, it was comforting to be among others, who might harbor a keen sense of love for books and literature, in general. It was interesting to look around and take note of the picks of others, some interested in learning a new language and others curious about the latest recipes in a cookbook. When I approached the checkout counter, I noticed a young boy attempting to sign up for his first library card. Unfortunately, the library clerk informed him that in light of his age, he would need his parent to sign up with him. Hearing this, I softened, remembering my first library card, as I proudly signed the front of the card with my mom. It was also refreshing to see a young child, eager to read and take advantage of our ability to utilize the library as we so choose.
Today’s visit to the library made me all the more appreciative we are provided with this right, as members of the community. So, if you haven’t in awhile, I encourage you to visit your local library, if you happen to be near one. There is much to be learned and utilized there, in my mind.
QUESTION: Do you visit libraries? Why or why not?