Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For the love of libraries

I've loved books since second grade, when Ms. Wilkinson helped me figure out how to put all the letters and words together to form meaning; since then, I've been a voracious reader.  So being surrounded by books has always made me happy. In my elementary years, I didn't spend a lot of time in libraries because my foster home was filled with books, and we had a bookstore (that my foster parents owned) right next door.

In 7th grade, that changed and I discovered the magic of libraries.  In movies and tv shows, libraries were shown as quiet, sterile environments with stern librarians anxious to hush you for the slightest sound.  If the Lisbon Public Library's librarian had been like that, I would have never spent so much time there. Selena was so full of life and sound, that being afraid to make a noise was an absolutely foreign concept.  Pat, although older and more sedate, also radiated this same energy and joy. Is it any wonder that I sought out this library all the time, first as a frequent borrower, and then as a volunteer?

At my last teaching job, before the big move, I was blessed with perhaps the best librarian I've yet met. My friend Donna, like the librarians that proceeded her, enriched my life by being not only a literary partner, but a mentor, sounding board, and often, my voice of reason.  This week, I've realized how much of a gaping hole is present because of her absence and the presence of a good library.

My new school's librarian is new to the field, and very sweet. But she is not fluent in my language and our library is currently not as rich as it needs to be in English books.  It is the first time in my life that I do not feel drawn to a library, and its faithful guardian.

No comments: