The Beauty of the Library

I was reading  a section over at The Pioneer Woman’s blog (yes, I still read her blog even though she ruined my life. I don’t know how to quit you, P-dub) written by a homeschooling mom that contributes to her site. She was talking about going to the local library and the books her kids picked up while there. It reminded me of my childhood and my summer days spent at the library.

When I was a child, the street our house was on was right next to the library. It took me about a minute and a half to walk to the library. It was a nice library, too. Our city clearly thought libraries were important because this wasn’t a “main” library, but it was large, well-stocked, and had all sorts of programs for kids. When I was really little, my mom took to me story time. I remember the lady sat in a big wicker chair as she read her stories. I thought she was some sort of princess on a throne. I always wanted to sit in that chair. Later when I was “big” I was allowed to walk there with a friend. We’d peruse the rows of books or visit my favorite space, a covered wagon (without the cover) filled with books. My friend liked the social aspect of going to the library, but I really loved the books.

Our library had a summer reading program, like most libraries do. I think I went to the library 2-3 times a week during the summer. I went for the craft time, movie time, story time, and to just look around. I never thought about how lucky I was to just be able to go there anytime I felt like it or how there were kids in my city who had never been to a library in their lives. It was just a given in my childhood -those wooden doors with screens after the main entrance, the smell of all those books, the friendly librarians greeting me by name.

I always said I wanted to live in the library building. It was a big brick building with (of course) huge open spaces on the main floor. The basement had a kitchen and lots of different rooms where they’d hold the many activities they offered. It was an old, beautiful building. I’m sure it was also a drafty, inefficient building because a few years ago, the city decided to sell it and build a “new, up-to-date” library. If there was any way on this earth for me to buy that building, I so would have. It just wasn’t in the cards (or the finances) for me to buy a library building in a city I don’t live in, though.

One of the passages in the section I read on PW’s blog reads “ The Public Library is the most valuable resource for most people’s educations. When this planet gets itself together, it will have much less school and much more library.” I never thought about the implications living right next to the library had on my education or my ability to learn. I grew up loving to read, being able to research things on my own, and developing strong critical thinking skills. Was this because I had a public library at my disposal? I’m sure some of it, at least, had to be.

Now days, I have to plan a trip to the library. With my kids now learning how to read, I find myself getting more excited at the prospect of visiting the library. Binh goes through spurts of needing to know information about a certain subject. A couple of months ago it was dinosaurs, currently it’s the solar system. We have a trip planned today to go get some books about planets, and I sure hope I can pick a little something for myself to enjoy as well.

With all the waste and stupid spending our government does, I think this is one thing we have that is smart. So how often do you take advantage of this wonderful, free resource? Do you have fond memories of the library like I do?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heather
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 17:20:11

    I love storytime because it’s like a appointment for me to take the kids to the library each week and it becomes second nature. Not to mention the fact that Maggie gets really upset if we miss a week. And now that she is big enough to sit in there by herself, I have time to go find a book for me or my hubby or even ::gasp!:: rent a movie! Our branch has a fabulous selection of movies for $1 a week – can’t beat that! My husband is a voracious reader and the biggest contribution I think I may have made to stretching our dollars was getting him into the habit of using the library instead of just buying every book he wants to read. 🙂

    We had a library in our neighborhood as well, although I couldn’t walk there but you could ride your bike on a nice day. My mom and I went there a lot. I remember when I got to meet an author of one of my favorite books and she signed it for me! And I remember when our class had to write stories for a contest and the finalists got the books on display at the library where people could actually check them out!


  2. pkg
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 17:39:35

    I have always loved going to library and spending time there. Somehow being in that rows and rows of books gave that mental relaxation. Then the idea of picking up random books and sometimes coming across real jewels.


  3. asmalltowndad
    Mar 14, 2011 @ 18:23:36

    Noooooooo! Hate them, except when they allow my paintings to be shown. LOL
    Just gave the shakes didn’t I Sis! bwaaa haaaa haaa


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