Library Insider: How Has a Library Touched Your Life?
Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
First things first, let me announce the winner from yesterday’s contest, in which each person who made a comment was entered the win the drawing. The winner is Renee, who sneaked a few minutes from her work in Pasadena to jot a note. I’ll be contacting you for your address, Renee, to receive all that bookish jewelry or the Starbucks card. (I guess we won’t get to see Lance wearing the book earrings.)
To me, this week of posts has felt like Celebrate Library Week. Libraries have affected most of our lives in some way or other.
I remember early in life my mother saw to it that I signed up for a library card. I stood in the entryway of that library, breathing in the scent of the books–and fell in love. I committed myself, in that glorious moment, to read all the books that old, massive building contained…Well, that’s proof that a child is naturally optimistic!
Earlier this week, I asked you to write an essay, poem, short story or whatever came to your creative mind that expressed how a library has touched your life. The reward? A 50% discount on a subscription to the Library Insider database. We have the results!But first, here’s a sampling of what we received:
Ann Shorey wrote: “I love libraries! Some of my fondest memories are of visiting the large Carnegie library in my hometown of Petaluma, California, for Saturday morning story hour….The second floor mezzanine is where the children’s books were kept. The image of low shelves filled with picture books is imprinted in my memory forever, as are some of the stories that the librarian read to us. Dr. Seuss’s The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, and Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey, spring immediately to mind. I pray I never get too old to enjoy children’s books.”
Larry B. Gray established a great habit as a result of his local library’s summer reading program:
“You had to keep a list or log of every book you read and the author. Since 1964 I have kept a log of all the books I have read and in the last several years have transferred this log to the computer database. I have them listed by title, author, date read, and genre and can sort them by either. It is fun to look back and see what kind of books you liked during different periods of your life.”
Cheryl Malandrinos also has happy memories of her childhood participation in the summer reading program:
“By the end of July my paper was full, and I had read over my quota. It was a proud young girl who waltzed into the library that final week of the program. Grinning from ear to ear, I dropped my books in the return bin and slid my list across the counter for the librarian to look at. She smiled back at me, her blue eyes twinkling through her eyeglasses. “You did a wonderful job,” she said. “Congratulations.” She signed a certificate stating I met my goals, making me an official winner.
“There are times I wish I had kept that certificate. I can’t imagine why my scrapbook that contains dozens of awards I received through my elementary school years is missing that first important step I took toward supporting our library’s Summer Reading Program each year.”
The entry that won was a short story, “The Key,” about a six-year-old girl whose older sister takes her to the library to obtain the youngster’s first library card. Here’s how the story concludes:
She grabbed both our cards off the counter and handed mine to me. I placed it in the back pocket of my denim shorts. She concealed hers in her purse. “Now are you ready?”
I nodded and we stepped back into the stifling heat. She groaned. “We have to walk all the way home.”
I didn’t answer out loud, but I smiled to myself. If I had to, I could walk to the moon and back. I had a whole new world tucked under one arm, and the key to the universe in my back pocket.
Congratulations to Lindsay A. Franklin, who wins a 50% discount on a subscription to Library Insider.
For those who didn’t send in an entry, it’s not too late to tell us what a particular library has meant to you. We’ll look forward to reading your comments below.