Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

What Does Your Library Mean To You?

Patty writes:

"I just want to come at libraries from a different direction. I'm a novelist, and obviously my mind filled itself up and contorted itself the right way during early years in back stacks of libraries. But now libraries do something new and special for me. They put my books in people's hands when otherwise those people wouldn't see them. A bottom-line-focused writer might say, "Well rats, every checkout means one fewer purchases," but a writer who just plain old loves to be heard sees it differently. Libraries amplify my voice."

What does your library mean to you?


Anonymous said...

I usually leave the library with a stack of close to 20 books. It's kinda sad, really. I love the library, and I love that I moved to a place where the library is larger and more varied, and has a better selection. It's exciting!

Abzdragon said...

My college library is a place of nirvana for me. It's huge for one, for two it's quiet and peaceful... I get lost in there. I love large libraries with tons of variety. But honestly... I've gotten to where I prefer to buy books. :)

Larry said...

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 unusued 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!

The next cool thing was working in a library as a student assistant on the reference desk and getting to know the academic librarians. A fun bunch of folks. Smart, quirky, well-educated and a many of them were into detective stories in a major, major way.

I realized at that time, however, that a career in libraries was not for me: I did not have the patience for dealing with the patrons (recall, this was an academic library. I certainly couldn't handle the patrons in a public library.) So I became a devoted patron instead.

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!