Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Library Love by Syndi Powell


Next week (October 20-26)  is the National Friends of Libraries week. It's a week to honor those who contribute and donate to their local libraries in order to provide materials and programming at no to low cost to their communities.

I've been in love with libraries since I was three and visited my first with my mother. It was the Macomb County library, and the children's section was to the right when you walked into the lobby. It was only a corner of the building, but for me it represented so much more. It was the doorway to adventures and friends that waited to be discovered simply by presenting a card and the desired book at the checkout desk.

When I went to school, they had a library there as well. In the third grade after my teacher read us the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, I discovered a love for historical biographies. I started with the As and by fourth grade had finished the section. I moved on to mythology in fourth grade then mysteries in the fifth. I fell in love with books at the library.


I still have a love affair with libraries. I even worked at one for a while and imagined retiring from there until budget cuts eliminated my job thirty years too soon. I still visit the library about once a week and check out the website about once a day to see if my holds on books are filled yet.

There's something special about a library. That distinct smell of musty pages and glue. The hushed stillness. The rows and rows of books waiting to be opened and devoured.

I love libraries. Don't you?

14 comments:

  1. Yes, I definitely do:) We take my son there all the time and he can spend hours reading:) I really hope I get the Writer In Residence position here as I would be working in a library:)

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    1. I hope you get the position too! That would be awesome. I grew up thinking that going to the library was a special treat, and I still think it is :) So your son is on the right path!

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  2. I love libraries. I grew up in a very small town, but we had the good fortune of having a volunteer-staffed library. The books were all donated by residents and as I look back on the time when my sister and I would go every week and check out the maximum number of books they let you have, and we'd trade and so have double amount to read, I understand how lucky we were. The library is gone now, and the children in my old home town and surrounding towns rely on a book mobile. I was sad to see that.

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    1. Roz, my mom did the same thing with her sister! They had the same tastes in books so it was a good thing. I was a fast reader so I finished my books before my sisters did then had to wait for them to finish theirs which didn't always work out. Libraries are great for the community, and I hate to see them close.

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  3. Growing up, I didn't have enough money for books so libraries became a sort of church for me. Even when my library card was too full to take out more books, I still visited every day in the summer and on the weekends during the school year. Something about the smell... it just overwhelmed me. My library even showed films on weekends (out of date Disney movies- but new to me!) and it was the greatest entertainment I could have wished for as a child. I LOVE libraries to this day.

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    1. Karen, checking out the maximum books was my usual way too. We did go to the films they showed as well as story time. I also took my first writing class one summer at the library and was HOOKED.

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  4. I's probably hard to find a writer who doesn't love libraries. In my twenties when I worked for the L.A. Times, I was secretary to Jack Smith, a regionally famous humorist and observer of everyday life. He once referred to a library as "a university for the poor." That's so true, isn't it? I remember browsing up and down the library aisles in Huntington Park, California, where I spent my teen years, and being excited because I was sure if I could just find the right book, the right page, I'd find the answer. I must admit I appreciate that the answer is much less elusive these days on Google, but I pray that libraries can survive. I saw on the news a few weeks ago that there's a small library in the Midwest somewhere that lends tools and other things as well as books to keep the doors open.

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    1. Muriel, I felt the same way about the library! Especially when I was looking at colleges to apply to, I thought if I found the right book it would tell me the perfect school to go to. And then later, when I was searching for answers about relationships and careers, I looked through those same aisles. Google is nice, but I do love my library.

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  5. I love libraries too. And, I miss the libraries of old that were all books and maps. My neighborhood library has gotten rid of half the stacks to make way for computer.

    I read so much that my mom got a library card so I could check out double the amount of books.

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    1. Pamela, I never thought to ask my mom to check out books for me too. LOL. I admit that while looking up books on the computer is nice (and I can even do it in my pajamas at home), I miss the old card catalogs. I found many books and authors that I might have missed if I hadn't been flipping through those cards.

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  6. I, too, love libraries. I worked two nights a week as a librarian in college, running down the hill so I could open the doors for the students lined up and waiting for me. With the name MARION, you can imagine how many times I heard, Marion, madam librarian from “The Music Man.” Someone would serenade me with it nearly every night.

    I met such interesting people. One man took out five or six of the older issues of Time magazines at a time. I told him he could have the current one as well, and he said, no, he preferred to see what he managed to live through, not what was going on now right now.

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