Thursday, June 20, 2013

Living at the Library

  I spent most of the day today voluntarily in a stuffy old room on a beautiful sunny day.  I tore apart the school library yesterday and had to stop halfway through the nonfiction section, so I was eager to get back to it today.  There is something about weeding out the trashy books and setting out wonderful books to feature that gives me great pleasure.  Spending most of the day amongst books, the time just flew by both days.  It doesn’t even seem like work, but more like finding old friends and reminiscing. 
     The library is organized according to the Dewey Decimal System, which I find antiquated.  I was going to group the subjects into bins, but went with Dewey and a labeler instead.  I know when I am beaten.
     The library that I spent almost every day at as a child and teenager was in an old storefront.  The ‘real’ library was downtown in Library Square and looked like the capitol building.  My little library was very humble.  I honestly think I read every book in the juvenile and young adult section, simply because the books were there and the selection was limited.  When I went to the real library the choice was so overwhelming it was hard to make a decision what to check out.  My library was much like the one I spent my day in today.  It doesn’t have to be fancy to win my heart, but it does have to show a love for good literature and an excitement for reading.  I hope I have turned this library around for good.
     Whenever I move to a new town, I try to become familiar with their library right away.  It is like a home away from home, with all my ‘friends’ around me, as I said before.  One can be far from one’s real home, but find Madeleine L’Engle or J. R. R. Tolkien in this new place and settle down by a window in a comfy chair and feel like you belong for awhile.
    In Social Studies we learned that Andrew Carnegie gave millions of dollars to open libraries through out the United States.  Our own library here in Racine is one of the libraries he gave money for, but the original library is now a museum.  It is so wonderful to look at the plaque mentioning Carnegie’s donation and think, now there is a kindred spirit.  I know he must have had a love for reading and books to give such a generous and thoughtful gift.

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