I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Somewhere in a file folder, tucked away in a storage closet, I have my very first library card. I treasured that little magic piece of paper, the one that would let me have (on a temporary basis) any book I wanted to carry away with me. After I had worked my way through my bookshelves, including the full series of Nancy Drew, and through most of my siblings’ books as well, I discovered the library. Our school library kept me entertained for a while, and the public library in our small town lasted me through high school, especially once the librarians quit frowning at me for working my way through books they considered “not suitable” for my reading.
This week is National Library Week, sponsored by the American Library Association. The theme this year is You Belong @ your Library, and I don’t believe that’s ever been more true than now! Somehow libraries seem to take a hit during rough economic times, as do other things sure, but I get peeved when I hear folks say that funding to libraries should be cut. The libraries of America are treasure troves of so many things: reading, groups, meetings, internet access, public service, and the list could go on for many pages! The amount of things available with a library card is amazing, and it is something that should be celebrated not cut, emphasized not downsized, especially in difficult economic times.
As an archivist, providing access to information is part of my job description. I am fortunate to work within an academic library that prides itself on being a place of information, a place of knowledge and learning, and a staff dedicated to making student success a reality. While we are serious about helping students succeed, we also love to have fun. Since January, our fabulous library staff have been making a series of videos, available on YouTube, about our library, including ones on library luck, library love, and a dance dare! (I told you we rock!) The most current installment is about the Archives where I work.
With thanks to ilovelibraries.org, here are some of my favorite quotes about libraries:
- “In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
- “Libraries are absolutely at the center of my life. Since I couldn’t afford to go to college, I attended the library three or four days a week from the age of eighteen on, and graduated from the library when I was twenty-eight.” ~ Ray Bradbury
- “Libraries are the doorway to a thousand worlds.” ~ Kristan Higgins
What’s your favorite library story? How have libraries been a part of your life?
[Note: This post is #9 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
Last year’s “I” post: Indulgence.]