Prompt: I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?
I go weekly. That’s when I meet my shorthand study buddy.
Other than that, it varies wildly. At least monthly, sometimes weekly, though we have gone a month or two without. As a kid we went every two weeks. I was allowed to take out anything I wanted (from the children’s section), but had to take at least one author I’d never read before. Dad always took at least one non-fiction.
The coffeehouse/bookstore has not replaced it at all. Huge cost difference, and the library has better selection. I’m happy to do without the extra food from the coffee house. As for getting stories electronically, there’s still something about a physical book that bears evidence of the dozens of people who read it. (I suppose there could be something gross about that, but I’m used to it.)
I remember the shelf with The Rescuers, and the nifty date-stamp on the pencil. I never could hold a pencil behind my ear, although I did try. When Mom told me about Aunt Mid, who was a children’s librarian in Kingston for decades, I pictured her in that small-city library. Later, I remember being thrilled the library was near my apartment for my work term, and even happier that they accepted my contract as proof of residency.
The libraries around here mix space, air and convenience, without sacrificing the cozy chairs and reading nooks. The old one is a bit crowded on the bottom floor, so it just has one long table.