I have always loved books. When I was young bookstores weren’t plentiful but the library was a place we visited often. I imagined that someday my home would have a library with wall-to-wall books. In reality that wasn’t going to happen, but my home from the first apartment to our present address has always had baskets and bookshelves filled with books. Not book arranged for the aesthetics but books that have been read and shared and loved. Some books have gone with me from New York to Connecticut to Pennsylvania to Ohio to Indiana to Kansas and back to Indiana. And some books were left along the way hoping someone else would pick them up and love them too.
Libraries have changed since I was a girl. They were quiet places holding adventures between the pages. With librarians that shushed, but more importantly always knew just the right book to feed my reading habit. Now libraries and librarians are so much more. The libraries still hold adventures and knowledge between the covers, but they also are hubs of technology, creative arts, community gatherings, a safe haven for some, they provide nourishment for children in need, and resources for those seeking employment. And the amazing librarians still help you find the right book but they always wear many other hats!
When my children came along bookstores were plentiful; they had story time and comfy chairs to sit. I could often be talked into buying a book! But the library was also part of their book experience. Who doesn’t love a magical library card of your own or a reading challenge that ends in you picking a book to keep? And of course, a video to take home and maybe a donut from the café!
I still love the library. The card catalog is gone, but searching for books online does yield lots of books with less effort. I still love to hold a book, but the library has eBooks when I need to use my e-reader. And when my first book was going to be published my son remarked that I would have a book in the library of congress! What an amazing thought for that little girl who always loved the library.