Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weekly Geeks 2010.12: Checking Out Libraries

Weekly Geeks this week is all about libraries. I have lots to say!

First, I don't really remember a whole lot about going to the library when I was really little, though I'm sure I did. What I do remember was visiting my grandma, who lived on a farm and thinking that visiting the bookmobile when it rolled around was the the coolest. thing. ever! Even though I was from a city and had a "real" library!

I remember loving to just browse the shelves and pick whatever looked good. I miss doing this. Once, my dad was doing this with me, and he picked one for me called The Enchanted Cup by Dorothy Parker. We knew nothing about it. But I took it home, read it, and LOVED it! This was the first I'd heard of the Tristan and Isolde story. I've never forgotten how cool it was to just randomly pick a book from the shelves, then love it so much.

When I was first married and we only had one car, I would walk several miles to the library because when I needed to go, I needed to go right then! It wouldn't wait until I had the car. That library at the time had the paperbacks all separated out from the rest of the fiction section. I loved just picking through those and seeing what I came up with. It was during that time that I discovered The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. Wonderful book!

When I had little kids, I'd haul them to the story time at the library every week. Hopefully, they now have early memories of those first library days! 

Just a few years ago, whenever I went to the library, I'd always think... how cool would it be to work here! I'm here all the time anyway, might as well earn a little money! One day, a job dropped into my lap and now, three mornings a week, I get to go to the library to earn a little money. It never fails to amaze me, really.

The library is the first place my kids learn to drive to all by themselves when they first get their driver's license. I've always thought that was an interesting tidbit. We've gone to the library once or twice a week for their whole lives. We've supported the summer programs for years and years. I truly can't imagine a world without libraries and when there's talk about getting rid of them, it makes me physically sick. 

Here's a couple of pictures of "my" libraries. The first two are from the one I work at. The first one is part of the famous stained glass window, and the second one is of the children's wing that was added to the original building several years ago. The bottom picture is of the the "other" library, where I check out most of our book club sets. It's in a restored building that once upon a time was completely falling apart. Seeing how beautiful it is today never fails to make me happy!

And the picture on the Weekly Geek post of a famous library? My guess is that's the Reading Room at the British Library in London. I was lucky enough to walk around that library and stick my head in this room, but there wasn't time to really soak it up. Some day, I'm going to go again!


  1. What a beautiful stained glass window! My mother told me I was in heaven when I first walked into a library. I don't remember it, but I do still love a good library. :)

  2. Wonderful photos and memories! How lucky for you to get to work in a library!

    The photo is actually the reading room in the Library of Congress. That was a good guess though!

  3. Oh my -- your local libraries are beautiful (and I must confess a twinge of jealousy that you get to work there!)

    The library has obviously been an important part of your life and it is so nice to hear that you have passed that down to your own children.

  4. Looks like you have some great libraries!

    I used to have great libraries when I lived up in Seattle and Portland. I think SF is suffering from too many people and not enough money!

  5. My son used to call our Carnegie library "the castle".

  6. I love the public library. Yours are so beautiful! I always somehow end up getting a library card even before changing my car registration, whenever we move! And I remember perfectly the layout of every library I've frequented- I bet if you took me back to the one I went to as a child, I could immediately go to the shelf that held the Blaze books, or Beatrix Potter (even though at the time I couldn't read, I had the shelf layout memorized. And given, of course, they haven't reorganized!)

  7. MT: And that's only a small part of the whole window. It's very cool.

    Terri: Ah, they look a lot alike!

    Molly: I truly can't imagine life without one.

    Amused: Sad!

    Bybee: That must be a cool looking library!

    Jeane: If I have to move some day, the library of wherever we go will be a big factor on wherever we move.



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