Since I can remember, I have always had a fondness for the library. The smell of the books, albeit musty at times, the crinkling of papers, the whispered conversations, and the now-obsolete but then very important subtle thwack of the library stamp hitting the ink pad and depositing its return date on your book, all added to the specialness of the place. And if you were so fortunate to have a smile thrown your way from an unusually happy librarian, that was just icing on the cake. Owning a library card was like owning a very unique key. A key that could open up doors to all kinds of places, real & imagined.
During rare occasions and living situations, I could actually walk to the library. It soon became apparent however, that my mountain of books few selections were too much for me to carry in one trip and required the use of a car or some such thing. Before my children were born, I would often use my lunch hour (when I worked 'outside the home' - what's that? - don't recall it now - ha!) to wolf down the contents of my brown bag and race over to the libary and spend as many minutes remaining perusing the stacks of books. With my arms laden with treasures, I would race back to work in the knick of time and wait until the end of the work day so I could merrily drive home and anticipate the leisurely time with which I could look at, drool over & read (once in awhile) my loot.
The habit only continued after having babies. When my children were preschoolers, the library offered a quiet place to study and to breathe. On a weekday evening or part of a Saturday afternoon, I would leave my husband in charge of the children and steal away to the library for some alone time. Of course, I still came home with a truckload of free items that I had borrowed with my library card. The only difference was that my arms became heavy with picture books and reading books and easy readers and books on tape.
When my children were old enough to realize that every book on the library shelves did not have to be taken off its shelf to stand on or to throw, and they finally decided that they'd rather actually read a book rather than play with the toys in the kids' area, they accompanied me to my favorite place. Getting their very own library card was a big deal with some minor pomp & circumstance added in accordingly. And practicing our 'library voice' was also a big deal so as to not upset the librarians. On our Library Day visit, we would traipse together into the world of imagination or reality, depending on which genre of book we/they/I chose. My children were happy with their selections; I was happy with a quiet and free outing.
That is, until the library fines!
But this post is not for mentioning that. This Flour Sack Friday post is about how wonderful and free (minus fines) the library is. It offers lots of things to read, watch and do for people of all ages. (I've only scratched the surface as to what our present library offers.) We still have a Library Day even though the actual day might change from week to week. We still return home with boatloads of books and movies and books on tape (and eek! the dreaded computer games once in awhile!). Really, the public library is a great 'invention'.