I have a long and loving relationship with libraries. In elementary school, it was the dark, quiet room filled with new friends–Dr. Dolitle, Laura Ingalls, Otis Spofford and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. In summer I would ride my bike to the public library and fill the front basket with a weeks reading. In Jr. High I decided to forego the usual elective class for an hour of dusting and sorting books in the school library. There I met up with historical fiction and a wall of biographies.
During college years my part time job was shelving books at a huge public library, but on Saturdays the children’s librarian left me to sit in her place at her desk and help children locate their own stacks of books to take home.
When we moved to Spain with our small children, the biggest deprivation was the lack of books! How many times did I read Madeline over and over and over to our boys? So with the help of our church in Fullerton we collected over 1,000 really good children’s books to start a children’s lending library for the missionary families scattered across the province.
Nowadays, I prize my card from the Fullerton Library. I slip in the door to a seeming oasis of quiet and restoration. Unlike the mall, you don’t have to count up the cost of each item you select, so I stack book upon book with happy anticipation. I take a few more than I know I can possibly read, for the luxury of choice of books piled on my beside table. Cookbooks, biographies, historical fiction, travel books, something to make me laugh– all from my trip to the library.
photo: thanks Brian for the picture of afternoon at the library with the grand-girls.