In honor of National Library Week, some of my favorite places on earth:

Davenport Public Library

I have vague recollections of the Davenport (Iowa) Public Library and my first library card: a happy red rectangle of plastic, signing my kindergarten kid signature in the white space. I remember thinking “Someday I will read every book in here.” Well, I think you all know how that’s going, but maybe I’ll refine that goal to “Someday I will read every book in the children’s section.” 🙂

 

Fuquay-Varina Public Library

My first paying job (other than babysitting) came at the Fuquay-Varina (North Carolina) Public Library during high school. Actually, I wasn’t hired at first because I wasn’t around during the summer, but in the fall the librarian recognized my Mom and asked if I was still interested. (um, YES!) I was the page for the children’s section which, needless to say, was awesome. I kept running across picture books I’d loved as a kid and discovered new ones by some favorite authors. To this day, I’ll find myself alphabetizing based on the colors of tape they put on the bindings (A and B are red, C and D are blue. True story) I also gained tons of respect for librarians because, holy cow, people can be rude and those kids book shelves are ALWAYS out of order! My co-workers got me hooked on maple-covered nut candy things they always kept behind the circulation desk and I really enjoyed the whole “government holiday = day off” situation. The other prime part of this job was that I could move my name to the top of waiting lists (teehee) and my sister had just introduced me to Harry Potter, so guess who got the library’s first copy of Goblet of Fire 🙂

 

Pickerington Public Library

After graduating from Iowa State, I moved to a suburb of Columbus, Ohio and found myself on my own for entertainment. Shocker that I spent lots of time at the library! I started volunteering one or two nights a week after work and was assigned to the two children’s librarians (notice a pattern here? I think it was a sign), who had me prepare materials for story time. I got to play with construction paper and glue sticks to my heart’s content, and rarely left without some new reading material as well. What is it about being trusted with collecting items from the book drop? Anyone else ever had that warm fuzzy feeling?

From the beginning, libraries have been huge parts of my life. Every time I walk through a library door, it’s like a shot of peace and inspiration gets injected into my veins. All those books, all those words, available for anyone to experience. Can you think of anything better? Thank you to all those librarians and teachers. Keep doing what you’re doing. Readers, what are your favorite library memories?

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