As a child, I adored every opportunity I had to visit my neighborhood library. It was the first place my parents allowed me to go by myself, and I would take every advantage of that freedom to ride my bike the few blocks to my favorite destination. Then, I would race to the children's section, select enough books to last seven days, and when my pile became too heavy to carry home, agonize over which ones to leave behind.
I remember the warm feeling of being inside the library. It was a place unlike any other, where I could explore, discover, learn, imagine, and grow without caution. The librarians seemed larger than life, like superheroes whose power was to uncover knowledge in hidden places. Everything was familiar and brand new at the same time, and it was exciting.
As I grew older, the library's meaning and purpose transformed for me. It became a place to go for quiet and research, to gather and chat with friends, and to hear my favorite authors speak. I loved it so much that I eventually found a way to spend most days there. But I never forgot the comfort of those early days.
This past summer, my husband and I welcomed a baby into our lives, and the library is now featured more prominently in our hopes and dreams than ever before. We want our daughter to explore, discover, and grow without caution. And we always want her to be comforted by the familiar while being excited and inspired by the new. We know that the library is the place that can provide all of this for her, with its story times, reading initiatives, activities, book festival, and superhero librarians. So we will take her as often as time allows. And when she's old enough to ride her bike to the library alone, I hope she returns with as many books as she can manage to carry.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives.
Back to the Blog