Friday, April 15, 2011

National Library Week - Memories of Libraries Past

I always enjoyed my mother’s stories of her childhood. I was very impressed when she told us she had set out to read every book in the children’s department of her small Oklahoma library. (And she succeeded!) I wanted to do the same, but my big city library did contain more books, I told myself, and I never matched her record. My mother had obviously spent a great deal of time in the library and was allowed as a child (for a special treat) to visit the basement to look at antique books and magazines that were stored there.

When my older sister was a teenager she worked in our city library and was allowed similar access to books.  She was also given some discarded books and vintage magazines. We loved what she brought home and marveled that they would eliminate what we considered treasures. I didn’t yet understand the concept of limited space! Actually, it still bothers me that libraries must periodically eliminate older books to make room for current ones—where are some of my favorites from long ago?! But there are still treasures to be found in our libraries. Perhaps we do not see them as quite so magical as we did as children, but a visit to the library is still a special time to me and going home with a stack of books is still a joy. Hurray for libraries!

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