A couple of brief testimonials to keep the Library Lurve going strong as we enter the "late-night-oh-what-have-I-done" phase of der Blogathon.
First off, Sally sent us this little gem, regarding the good folks at the Jefferson Parish Library:
The Jefferson Parish Library opened soon after Katrina....it was a welcome home to many. No carpets, few staff, but the books were ok, and the computers were in full use. This was great, when so many people couldn't get into their homes.
And, our good buddy Larry Harnisch, who knows pretty much everything there is to know about L.A., had this to say in the comment thread of an earlier post, but it's so good, we're printin' it twice:
The first library I truly learned to use was turned into a church after Naperville, Ill., built a bigger building and I guess that's kind of appropriate.
I don't precisely worship libraries--but close. I may not get to museums all that often, or concert halls or the theater, but it's a poor week when I don't get to a library.
I started young. I was a precocious reader and at an early age entertained myself in the stacks reading all the back issues of Boys Life (where I picked up no end of unused knowledge about knots, woodlore, campfires, blazing trails, etc.)
My next big discovery, and it was a major one, was the academic library, which I began using in high school. An even bigger card catalogue! Way more books! Way more periodicals! Way more old newspapers on microfilm!
[...clipped for length, as I've gone mad, mad I tell you with editorial power, and also, you can see the missing bits here. - bp]
I see libraries as vast, well-organized repositories of knowledge. The delight is coming across some long-neglected volume and giving it another chance, however brief, to be read again. A city without libraries is like a city without churches.
That's why I'm glad to be taking part in your little fundraiser!