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Topic: Shout out to our Libraries!

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Subject: Shout out to our Libraries!
Date Posted: 3/20/2015 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,429
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Musing on an early Friday morning ...

My funnest childhood memories are those of my frequent trips to our public library. The Children's Library was upstairs and it was a magical place. The librarian was wonderful and it wasn't long before I was volunteering there ... checking books in and out, shelving books, "reading" the shelves (a personal favorite - such a satisfying task!), helping other people find books, etc., etc.

Fast forward a few years: one of my college jobs was working for the part of the university library designated for education majors ... a very rewarding gig! But then I drifted away from libraries. For much of my adult life, I didn't take advantage of all the wonderfulness I know libraries are. And that's a shame on me! 

I'm now a member of our local library and trying to taking advantage of all they offer, including accessing Fold3, a wonderful on-line resource for genealogical research. I also particularly like visiting the Friends of the Library room. The books are always in very sad disarray and I can straighten, shelve and neaten to my heart's content ... and often find wonderful books to look through; and occasionally, buy!

What are your memories/experiences with your local library? And, Vicky, how did you become a librarian? What drew you to this line of work?



Date Posted: 3/21/2015 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,718
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What a nice post!  I don't remember going to a library as a child. We lived in a rural area, and with only one vehicle, we were 'at home' until Dad came home from work. But our house was full of books, and my parents read to me all the time. I remember our house had a fireplace with bookshelves on either side. As I got older (say 9 years old) I had access to anything on those shelves.  Jane Eyre, Edgar Allen Poe, and art books! My Dad was taking art classes at U of Michigan and our house was always full of canvas, paints and his work. When I was in high school, my mom got a job as a library assistant at a small library close to us.  She loved it, and I think I came and helped shelve books some on weekends and one evening a week.  

Life moved on, I moved away, and eventually came back home as a single mom with a 3-year-old.  Mom was ready to quit the library, and put my name in the hat for her job.  That was my first paying job in a library!  I loved it.  I stayed there for 10 years, and then moved to another library as director. It was at this second library that I earned my Master's in Library Science.  I knew I was in for the long haul. 

So to answer the question, I fell into it by happenstance, and ended up feeling at home with the job.  My favorite part is to see my regular patrons, discuss books with them, help them find something new to read.  I seem to have a knack for suggesting the perfect book for someone--and then they trust me to always guide them to books they will love. Can you imagine?? wink


Date Posted: 3/21/2015 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,429
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Yes, Vicky, I can certainly imagine.  That was my favorite part of being a high school librarian.

I have lots of wonderful memories of visiting the red brick Carnegie library in the small town where I grew up.  My mother took me and my two brothers to the library regularly.  I remember running to the children's table to look through the stereoscope, and looking at picture books - for some reason I particularly remember books about Snipp, Snapp, and Snurr.  But the best part was getting a Laura Ingalls Wilder "Little House" book.  Mother was reading the series to us.  I was 4 or 5 at that time; These Happy Golden Years (book 8, and the last book at that time) was published in 1943.  Perhaps due to paper shortages during the war years, and no doubt library budget concerns, the library did not get this book for quite a while (seemed like forever to me).  Miss Caldwell, the lovely little librarian, told this story on me for years and years, how Linda would come in and immediately ask if the new Laura and Mary book was here, and how my eyes lit up when she finally showed it me.  Another lovely memory of Miss Caldwell:  she introduced me to historical fiction when I was in junior high, recommending The Tudor Rose, and My Lady of Cleves, both by Margaret Campbell Barnes.