Happy National Library Week! I want to pay a tribute to all of the libraries that have made a difference in my life over the years, so here we go:
I'll start with my elementary school library, where Mrs. Rosencranz -- our wonderful librarian who did great read-alouds and wore lots of perfume -- encouraged my love of non-fiction. It's also where I discovered my first Most Favoritest Book, Secrets of the Mummies by Joyce Milton -- I checked it out year after year after year, from Kindergarten all the way through fifth grade.
Complete with terrible black-and-white photographs
Next is Kendall Branch Library, part of the Houston Public Library system. (They just built a gorgeous, light-filled new home, which is fantastic because the building I grew up with was pretty dang ugly.) Anyway, this library saved me from boredom every summer and also provided me with great sources for school projects.
Old Kendall: gross.
New Kendall: yay!
Then comes the Davidson College Library, home of avocado green carpet and orange pleather chairs -- we were convinced that those colors helped us concentrate better. In this library, I discovered the wonders of interlibrary loan and researched and wrote a paper on The Canterbury Tales in twelve hours the day before it was due (got an A, boo ya). While studying for finals there one semester, a friend and I fell into giggle fits after considering prank-calling our philosophy professor and pretending to be the ghost of René Descartes. Also of note: random, mysterious trails of gummy bears. See, libraries are fun!
Then they ripped up our beloved puke green carpet (seen here in patches) and put down "tasteful" blue carpet :(
Can't forget Evans Library at Texas A&M University, where I did my masters, and our Curriculum Materials Library (a.k.a. the CML, which houses our children's literature collection) here at UGA -- they've saved my butt so many times.
And finally, there's the Athens Regional Library System. Our main library is a cheerful place that draws people from all over the community, and they ALWAYS have what I need. Most recently, I checked out Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and I'm so grateful that I finally read it.
Does your local library have a giant metal sculpture?
So that's my hopefully-not-too-boring account of the libraries that have made my world brighter.
What are some of your favorite library memories? Go visit your favorite biblioteca this week and hug a librarian! Also, consider volunteering or making a donation -- libraries do so much good for so many people, so let's give them our support!