Monday, August 06, 2007

Public Libraries: The Happiest Places on Earth

I can’t remember a day when I wasn’t in love with public libraries. Especially when I was a teenager. All the books I want to borrow--for free? That was like continuously winning the lottery!

So when I was in my hometown last week, nothing could stop me from going to my old stomping ground and seeing if they had a copy of my book in the stacks, TOP TEN USES FOR AN UNWORN PROM DRESS. What a dream-come-true, right?


They’d enlarged the library, which intellectually I loved (more room for books!) but bothered me in a nostalgic way because I wanted everything to be the same. But the children’s room hadn’t changed a bit, and when I asked a librarian about my title, she perked up and said she knew it, and couldn’t wait to read it herself. (Yea!) But that it would be housed over in the Young Adult area.

Which delighted me: the library hadn’t had a YA area back-when, and how great that they recognized this need! So I wandered over there and found a real nice assortment of books--just not mine. A quick computer check showed they didn’t have it, either. (Wah!) But a few minutes later, the YA librarian and I concocted a sweet deal: I will send them a library hardcover copy plus a picture and biography, and they will display it on a special stand. Works for me!

So soon, the library that helped nurture my young mind will feature some fruit of their own labor. And who knows? It might touch a reader or two...maybe even one who goes to my old high school and has secret aspirations of writing a book herself some day? I’ll probably never know, but I can dream...

Something I cultivated with help from my local public library.

Are there any other “library geeks” out there?

13 fresh comments:

Kelly Parra said...

Yes, love them! Especially in the summers when I was a kid. But I'm guilty of losing my library card once a year! hehe.

Congrats on the display--sounds like a great idea!

Erica Orloff said...

My memories of the library are of my mom taking me and me signing out the limit--which was like eight books--on Friday. Reading them all over the weekend and me BEGGING her to go back on Monday. :-) Encyclopedia Brown, harriet the Spy.

E

Janie Emaus said...

Hi,
I remember standing in line with my arms loaded with books.

How cool that you'll be on display in your hometown library!

Janie

TinaFerraro said...

Oh, yes, Kelly, the lost library card...I was guilty of that a few times, too.

Erica and Janie, yes, I, too, took arms full of books to the check-out desk, sometimes new books and sometimes old favorites. I went through a long Tudor Family phase, especially anything to do with Princess/Queen Elizabeth, and I imagine other kids who wanted to do reports on her were continuously frustrated by the lack of available material!

Erin said...

I was at my local library Saturday and noticed that they had a copy of Top 10 Uses in their New Books section. :)

Jessica Burkhart said...

I'm SUCH a library geek. I'm there at least three times and week and if I'm not there, I'm browing the online catalog and am ordering books to be ready for me to pick up when I come. They see "Burkhart" pop up and run away because they know I have loads of books! LOL

TinaFerraro said...

COOL, Erin! Thanks for telling me!

And Jessica, yep, you're one of us, too...

Thanks!

alexgirl said...

Who doesn't love the library! Free books, free movies, free internet--and it doesn't clutter up my apartment, a huge setback for an NYC girl like me!!
Plus, living in Manhattan, there are libraries every few blocks. HEAVEN!!

Kiki said...

When I was eight, I outgrew the local branch of my city's library because I had literally read every single children's book (and a good number of adult books, too) from that branch.
By the time I finally "outgrew" the children/teen room in the head branch, I had read all the books in the sections I cared about.

My mom is an avid library reader as well, so we would take a huge backpack and stuff it with books at least once a week.

It's a habit I've retained, only now I'm using one of those little old lady shopping trolleys to get my books home from the library (still no car for me).

Without the library, I could never feed my 100+ -books-a-year addiction...

TinaFerraro said...

Yeah, I couldn't agree more, Alex...and did you notice the sign at the bottom left hand side of the picture? I grew up in Yonkers, New York.

And wow, Kiki, 100 books a year! I know who to ask the next time I'm stumped on a which-book-did-that-happen-in question!

Celise said...

They knew my name at the one I went to because I was there every weekend. That's when I got hooked on adult romance books and barely graduated from HS because I would rather read than do homework.

TinaFerraro said...

Oh, Celise, I heard a similar story from a mother recently, that she had to limit the number of romance novels her daughter read so she'd keep her grades up. Wonder if that girl will go on to be a romance writer???

Teen Troves said...

I am such a library geek, I decided to make it my profession! In December I completed my Master's in Library and Information Science! Doesn't get much library geekier than that!